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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Washing Machine Safety

1/12/2022 (Permalink)

Millions of Americans depend on washing machines for quick, easy, and thorough cleaning, as opposed to some older methods that do not do nearly as good a job.

As a matter of fact, researchers estimate that the average family of four does about 8 to 10 loads of laundry every week! If you're wondering what the quick math correlates to over the course of the year it's over 500 loads of laundry!

With a demand like that, it is imperative that you take the necessary steps and precautions to make sure it runs properly and without error.

There is a lot of wear and tear that comes with this type of usage, so we wanted to run through some maintenance tips to make sure your machine remains in tip-top shape and in great working order.

- First and foremost, you are going to want to replace your washing machine lines at least every 3-5 years; each time the machine is turned on or off, the lines contract which could eventually lead to bursts.

- It is highly recommended that you switch from rubber hoses to stainless steel braided hoses.

- Before you replace these hoses, make sure your water is turned OFF!

- Finally, check your hoses for leaks at least once a year!

We hope you learned how to take better care of your washing machine, and remember: for all of your restoration needs, call SERVPRO!

Severe Storms and Weather

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Did you know?

According to the Red Cross lightning strikes kill more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes? 

Severe weather is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Severe storms can wreak havoc on your home or business and can be accompanied by flash flooding, damaging winds, fallen trees and power outages.

One of the most common disasters SERVPRO remediates is roofs damaged, if not destroyed, by a fallen tree. In fact, as is common throughout the United States, winds may be strong enough to down tree limbs, knock out power, or may even be strong enough to down entire trees onto homes, parked cars, or whatever happens to cross their path, thus producing structural damage to homes and buildings (www.weather.com).

In a more severe circumstance, SERVPRO teams from the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area collectively responded to the victims of Hurricane Sandy back in 2012. Countless homes, stores, vacation retreats and hotels were severely impacted and many of them have required years of repairs and recovery.

Therefore, with the amount of damage that can be done, it is important for you to adhere to any known storm warning or threat of severe weather. Stay indoors, secure your immediate area and if possible, stay up-to-date.

SERVPRO Storm Response

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

A Fast Response Is Crucial

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. With over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency.

An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals arrive quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Storm Experience

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Catastrophic Storm and Major Event Response

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are prepared for the unpredictable.

With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include:

  • 2017 California wildfires
  • 2017 Hurricane Irma
  • 2017 Hurricane Harvey
  • 2016 Hurricane Matthew
  • 2015 Carolina floods
  • 2014 Polar Vortex
  • 2012 Sandy
  • 2010 Nashville floods
  • 2008 Ike
  • 2007 Chicago floods
  • 2007 Ohio floods
  • 2007 California wildfires
  • 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita

After a Fire Do's and Dont's

1/10/2022 (Permalink)

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

1/10/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Pennypack/Bustleton will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 
  • Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

    Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

    Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call us today.

Preparing Your Home for Winter

1/10/2022 (Permalink)

With the cold-weather months approaching, there are some things you can do to protect your home from the threat of winter-related damage.

Living in a climate that progresses through all four seasons puts your home at risk for seasonal damages that may be prevented with proper preparation.

Below is a list of things you can do to help get your home ready to survive the enduring winter weather;

  1. During the cold winter months, homeowners fret the dreaded heating bill and pile on layers of warm clothes before even thinking about adjusting their thermostat. An easier way? Seal all doors, windows and openings to the home. Weather stripping is a relatively simple technique to use around door and window frames to prevent any drafts from coming in and keep the heat from going out. In addition, if you have any gaps on the exterior of your home, be sure to fix those with some caulk, another relatively simple and inexpensive method to reduce that heating bill.
  2. During the lovely Fall season, be sure to inspect the exterior of your home for any potential problem areas. For example, examine your roof for any missing or damaged shingles or check your windows for cracks and gaps.
  3. Clean your gutters! During the Fall, the multi-colored leaves make a habit of landing in your gutters causing your gutters to lose their efficient draining abilities. There are generally no visible signs of standing water in your gutter until it is too late, so be proactive and get them cleaned ahead of time!
  4. Before the frigid air makes a semi-permanent residence, have your heating system checked by a professional. Whether it is central or furnace heat, a system that is running well is almost always more efficient and will save you time and money in the end!

Now is the time to start protecting your home and bracing for the winter months. If the coming winter storms damage your home give us a call.

Electronic Cleanup

1/9/2022 (Permalink)

Electronic Cleanup

Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire as they are prone to overheating upon startup. Another danger is that smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. There are even different types of smoke residues that can cause different levels of damage. Because of this we urge you again, not to attempt to turn these electronics on or clean them at home. A SERVPRO Franchise will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Document Drying

1/9/2022 (Permalink)

Document / Photograph Drying

When your valuable documents, including sentimental photographs, wills, passports, marriage certificates, and other types of identification, are damaged by water or fire, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-fire damage condition, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can save a great deal and help minimize any additional damage. We recognize that in some cases these documents can be difficult to replace or sometimes even irreplaceable, these are important to you which makes them important to us. Learn more about our document restoration services on our website.

Depending on the type of documents and the level of fire, smoke, or soot damage, they have five options for the restoration of documents:

  1. Air Drying
  2. Dehumidification
  3. Freezer Drying
  4. Vacuum Freeze Drying
  5. Vacuum Thermal Drying

Contents Restoration

1/9/2022 (Permalink)

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals specialize in restoring contents that have been damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

Education Facilities

1/8/2022 (Permalink)

A commitment to clean is a commitment to confidence.

From elementary schools to college campuses, clean and secure facilities are essential to education. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of learning, SERVPRO® is here to help ensure a safe and comfortable environment for your students, faculty and staff.

With more than 50 years of experience in emergency and proactive cleanup and restoration, SERVPRO is in your community to help schools thrive in times of challenge. Through Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, we’re bringing a specialized viral pathogen-cleaning program to schools across the country. Going beyond standard janitorial practices, Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is expert deep cleaning backed by our industry-leading training program and follows all CDC and local guidelines, including the use of EPA-approved hospital-grade disinfectants.

If you encounter a positive case, call the experts you can trust to help you reset and reduce the spread of COVID-19. Get Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned and make the commitment to a higher standard of clean.

Healthcare Facilities

1/8/2022 (Permalink)

Our Professionals Are Trained to Adhere to the Highest Sanitation Standards

Disasters at healthcare facilities are complex and often require special training to handle regulated medical waste and comply with HIPPA regulations. Whether we’re dealing with a small medical office or a large hospital campus, SERVPRO professionals work quickly and efficiently to assess your needs, coordinate with environmental and infection control teams, and ensure that all health certifications are obtained prior to completing the job. We have the experience and expertise to manage your cleanup needs so that you are free to focus on your number one priority: your patients 

Types of Facilities:

  • Hospitals
  • Assisted Living Centers
  • Outpatient Surgical Centers
  • Electronics and Machine Restoration
  • Hospice Facilities
  • Senior Living Facilities
  • Medical Office Buildings

Our professionals are available 24-7/365 to help remediate any damage, regardless of the cause, scale of the loss, or the size of your facility.

Cooking Safety

1/8/2022 (Permalink)

“Cooking with Caution”

Be on Alert. Do not cook if you are sleepy or have consumed any alcohol. This can potentially create dangerous situations. Do not use the stovetop or stove if you are under the influence.

Be sure to stay in the kitchen while frying, boiling, grilling or broiling food. Always turn off the stove if you have to leave the kitchen, no matter how quick you may be.

If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in your home while it is cooking, or use a timer so you do not forget about it.

Be sure your kitchen is free of clutter and no loose items are near the stove. This reduces the chance of anything catching on fire.

If you have a small grease/ cooking fire and decide to fight the fire…

On the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan to covered until it is completely cool.

If the fire is inside the oven, shut the oven off and keep the door closed.

If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire…

Just leave the house! When leaving be sure to close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the house.

Content by: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Campaigns/Fire-Prevention-Week/Safety-Tip-Sheets

1-4-8 Response

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

2 techs covering and moving a piece of furniture in a living room SERVPRO is committed to a fast response for any size disaster.

We talk a lot about how SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster but, what exactly does that mean? Well when we get a call in for an emergency loss we work based off of a 148 Response. Within 1 hour of receiving notification we will have a call out to the customer to discuss the situation. Then within 4 hours of the initial call we will have at least a three man crew on site. There may be a need for extra Technicians depending on the severity and size of the loss. At times we will recall Techs from the field to come assist wherever necessary. This initial team includes a Crew Chief and at least two Techs who can begin to remedy the situation as soon as they arrive onsite. By 8 hours we will have provided a verbal briefing to the adjuster including all the information we have attained so far along with photo documentation. While all this is being done we are communicating with the customer every step of the way, we do our best to ease any concerns as we understand how stressful an emergency loss situation can be.

Warehouse Cleaning

1/3/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO offers Commercial Restoration Services including any warehouse large to small.

Of course, there's never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we'll be there fast with the help you need. 

No Job Is Too Large

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are pre-qualified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster. Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation. 

If your business suffers a major loss, give us a call. 

Food Service Facilities

1/3/2022 (Permalink)

Time and Safety Are Our Top Priorities When Cleaning and Restoring Your Restaurant, Kitchen and Food Service Facility.

Time is of the essence when disaster strikes your restaurant or manufacturing facility, but so is your safety. Our professionals have been trained to be mindful of regulations and potential hazards while still maintaining efficiency as they restore your business. You can trust Team SERVPRO to be mindful of your time and budget, as well as the safety of you and your patrons. 

Types of Facilities:

  • Food Manufacturing Facilities
  • Food Distribution Centers
  • Fast Food Restaurants
  • Senior Living Facility Kitchens
  • Educational Cafeterias

Our professionals are available 24-7/365 to help remediate any damage, regardless of the cause, scale of the loss, or the size of your facility.

Hospitality Facilities

1/3/2022 (Permalink)

Your Guests Are Your Top Priority; You Are Ours

When disaster strikes at a hospitality facility, the help of a specialized team is critical in assuring that normal operations resume as quickly and safely as possible. Whether the cause is a coat hanger on a sprinkler head, a fire, a traumatic event, or a natural disaster, our team will coordinate with your management and maintenance staff to prioritize spaces, isolate the damage, and restore the area to your complete satisfaction, while minimizing the inconvenience to you and your guests. 

Types of Facilities:

  • Hotels
  • Convention Centers
  • Resorts
  • Casinos
  • Entertainment Venues

Our professionals are available 24-7/365 to help remediate any damage, regardless of the cause, scale of the loss, or the size of your facility. 

SERVPRO Emergency Preparedness

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

2 male SERVPRO employees working with a male client in an office building SERVPRO Emergency Ready Planning

The SERVPRO®Emergency Ready Plan Advantage

When disaster strikes your business, having a plan in place ahead of time for what you will do can make all the difference in whether your business survives the event. The majority of businesses that come out stronger on the other side of an emergency are the ones that pre-planned for one. That’s where SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) can help give you, your employees and customers peace of mind. You can trust that whatever might happen to disrupt daily business will only be temporary. With our Emergency Ready Plan, your business will be able to minimize interruption because you’ll know what to do and what to expect if any-sized disaster strikes. This is important to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. 

Contact Us Today 570-759-0966

We are ready to help you plan for the unexpected

SERVPRO Commercial Services

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green van parked in front of a commercial office building SERVPRO Commercial Services

Commercial Services

If you are dealing with fire, mold or water damage, the experienced team at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is ready to respond. Since we are locally owned and operated, we are prepared to handle any damage, and are able to respond quickly. Immediate action and a fast response can limit damage, prevent further damage and reduce restoration costs. Our highly trained crews have the specialized equipment and resources to handle the job, large or small, residential and commercial. Our teams are prepared with strategically located equipment in case of fire emergency in our area including Berwick, Bloomsburg and Danville.

Choose SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, a local company that specializes in fire, water and storm damage restoration. We are Here to Help® and ready to respond to fire, sprinkler system malfunctions and soot conditions.

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

Have Questions? Call Today – (570) 759-0966

Commercial Building Restoration Services

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties responds quickly to your Bloomsburg fire, water, or mold damage emergency, 24 hours a day. Whether the damage occurs in a small business building or a big box store, we have the training, experience, and equipment to handle the situation. Our national network of 1,700 Franchises gives us access to personnel and resources to respond to any size restoration emergency. Learn more about our commercial restoration services:

Commercial Building Cleaning Services

When the dirt, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you need SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties. You can depend on us to get the job done right and get it done quickly. Our highly trained technicians use top-of-the-line equipment to make your business shine again. Learn more about our commercial cleaning services:

SERVPRO History

11/8/2021 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Corporate Facility front entrance with 3 flags and logo shown SERVPRO Corporate
Our History

What began as a small painting business more than 50 years ago has grown into a leader in the cleaning and restoration industry with more than 1,900 locations.

Our Story

Family-Owned

In 1967, SERVPRO® began as a painting business owned by Ted and Doris Isaacson in Sacramento, California. Within a short time, they leveraged their background in cleaning and restoration to grow their company by offering franchises in the cleanup and restoration industry. They sold their first franchise in 1969, and SERVPRO grew steadily. Ten years later, they were able to acquire the Bristol-Myers Domesticare division and its 175 franchises. By 1988, the Isaacsons had built SERVPRO into a thriving company with 647 locations. They decided it was time for further expansion and relocated the company from Sacramento to the Metro Nashville area. This strategic move put SERVPRO in a more centrally located area within 600 miles of 50 percent of the U.S. population. It wasn’t long before SERVPRO proved itself to be a major asset to its new community, and it was named the “Small Business of the Year” by the Nashville Business Journal in 1991.

Solid Future

SERVPRO continued to grow into the new century, and in 2005 moved to a 140,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility in Gallatin, Tennessee, to provide more room for expansion. Today, SERVPRO has more than 1,900 locations in the United States and Canada and has become the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration. SERVPRO offers a solid business model to entrepreneurs looking for a recession-proof opportunity. In March 2019, the investment firm Blackstone acquired a majority stake in SERVPRO. True to its beginnings, it remains a family-owned business. The Isaacson family will continue to be significant shareholders into the future. According to Rick Isaacson, Chief Executive Officer of SERVPRO Industries, LLC, “SERVPRO was founded over 50 years ago with the vision of becoming the premier cleaning and restoration company, and we believe this partnership with Blackstone is a vital next step toward this goal.”

SERVPRO is here to help with water damage

11/5/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green van arrives to a house with woman in driveway SERVPRO arrives to help a customer with water damage

A storm, flood or plumbing problem can leave your home with extensive water damage. Immediate action is necessary to mitigate the damage. SERVPRO’s professionals specialize in repairing and restoring following residential water damage. Our customer-focused professionals will assess the residential water damage to your property. Then, we’ll help you understand the severity of the damage so you’re able to make the best decisions for the restoration of your home. Our top-notch people use the most advanced equipment to detect hidden moisture and extract standing water. We have more than 50 years of experience in repair and restoration so you can trust us to help you develop a water damage restoration plan to help ensure your home is clean, dry and restored to its pre-damaged condition.

SERVPRO is ready to restore your Retail Facility

11/5/2021 (Permalink)

Cash Register with cash and coins SERVPRO is ready 24/7/365 to respond to emergencies at retail locations

Retail Cleaning and Restoration

If your retail space needs cleaning or damage repair due to fire, water, mold or another event, SERVPRO® has the experience in retail store cleaning to get you back in business quickly.

When an emergency strikes your retail facility, it’s important to act quickly to help lessen the damage and restore the area to preloss condition while also maintaining daily business operations when possible. Our highly trained professionals are available any time to respond to retail water damage and other emergencies, no matter the size or cause. We perform our retail store cleaning and restoration services with care, helping to ensure all surfaces, displays and merchandise are restored to preloss condition. We do this with as little disruption to your retail business as possible, working after hours if necessary. We safely isolate the damaged areas, so you can continue normal business activities.

With more than 50 years of experience in the cleanup and restoration industry, SERVPRO has successfully restored many retail spaces, including:

  • National Chain Stores
  • Supermarkets
  • Shopping Malls
  • Department Stores
  • Specialty Retailers

24 Hour Emergency Services

11/4/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Green Truck Logo SERVPRO is available 24/7/365

The cleanup and restoration begins with a phone call. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of damage.

A water damage event can be traumatic and when you call, we understand you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. Our specialist will lead you through a series of questions to better understand your needs.

SERVPRO® specializes in water damage—in fact, SERVPRO is the premier water damage restoration company in the U.S. and Canada.

What to Expect

When you call, a customer care specialist will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. Armed with the details of your water event, we’ll dispatch a team to respond immediately.

Our SERVPRO Specialist will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Biohazard & Crime Scene Cleanup

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technician cleaning in PPE Highly trained SERVPRO Technicians specialize in Biohazard & Crime Scene Cleanup

Biohazard & Crime Scene Cleanup 

In the event that your property needs hazmat, trauma or crime scene cleanup, SERVPRO can help you. This type of situation requires competence, experience and respect for all involved. Our skilled professionals will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances. Once the police have completed their investigation of a crime scene, cleanup and restoration can begin. This involves an assessment of your property to determine the proper equipment and cleaning products needed. Because traumatic events often involve biological and chemical contaminants, it’s very important to know that the restoration process is being handled in compliance with all government, environmental and health regulations. Our professionals do this in the safest way possible to you, your property and everyone living or working on your property. We are trained and prepared both physically and mentally to handle biohazard, trauma, and crime scene cleanup and restoration with respect and professionalism.

SERVPRO is here to help with water damage to your home or facility

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Bathroom sink overflowing water Water Damage

Water Damage at Home? We Can Help

A storm, flood or plumbing problem can leave your home with extensive water damage. Immediate action is necessary to mitigate the damage. SERVPRO’s professionals specialize in repairing and restoring following residential water damage. Our customer-focused professionals will assess the residential water damage to your property. Then, we’ll help you understand the severity of the damage so you’re able to make the best decisions for the restoration of your home. Our top-notch people use the most advanced equipment to detect hidden moisture and extract standing water. We have more than 50 years of experience in repair and restoration so you can trust us to help you develop a water damage restoration plan to help ensure your home is clean, dry and restored to its pre-damaged condition. 

Fire

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties was able to have the business open quickly!

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties had received a call from a local laundromat, regarding a small fire. There was a minor fire which affected the use of commercial dryers, but also placed soot throughout the laundromat and connecting hallway. SERVPRO arrived onsite to start mitigation, which involved removal of drop ceiling tiles, hepa vacuuming soot webs and debris. Our crew was able to have the main area open for use within one day, with the remaining areas open for use shortly thereafter.

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for all your smoke, soot, water or deodorization needs! We are always here to help 24/7 at 570-759-0966.

Winter 2020

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties!

2020 has been quite the unpredictable year, including the weather here in Northeast PA! We had almost a record-breaking snow fall, with totals of 12” to 3’, depending on your location. SERVPRO received calls from customers asking about ice dams on their roofs, causing water damage inside their homes. The very next week, we received 1.5” to 3” of rain, with the snowpack melting, we were then under sever flood watches. With the advance warnings, people were able to prepare by moving materials to higher ground. Thankfully, the rivers did not rise as high as anticipated, and many were spared.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for all your smoke, soot, water or deodorization needs! We are always here to help 24/7 at 570-759-0966.

Faster to your Columbia County Water Damage Event

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (570)759-0966

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Snow Fall

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Fresh Snow Can be Beautiful!

Once the Snow Falls

Newly fallen snow produces roughly one-tenth its volume in water, so every 10 inches of melted snow produces the equivalent of one inch of rain. If you have two or three feet of fallen or drifted snow against your house, a warm day, especially with rain, can release a large volume of water that can affect your foundation and basement.

To prevent snowmelt from flooding your home, clear snow at least one to two feet away from all sides of the foundation, especially near basement windows and around downspouts.

Also remove excess snow from your roof using a roof rake designed specifically for this purpose (a regular rake can damage the roofing materials). Keeping your roof and eaves clear of snow will help prevent ice dams that can form and drive water into your attic, ceilings and walls, sometimes causing extensive damage.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties was called out for a chimney fire.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (570)-759-0966

After Hours Response

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties responds to late night water loss!

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties had received a call at 12:15 AM on a July Sunday morning! A local apartment housing building had sustained significant amount of water damage due to a broken pipe. Our crew was on-site by 2:00 AM to start mitigation of the first floor. Upon review the initial loss, they crew found minimal damage, puddles of water in several areas. They extracted the standing water and set up drying equipment. 

Our crew returned later in the day to set additional drying equipment to find that the customer had a second water loss. This second loss was much more substantial, the whole first floor now contained water damage. Our crew went to work with a second mitigation and placement of drying equipment.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for all your water mitigation needs!

(570)759-0966

Winter Weather

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Please take extra time to travel on snow covered roads!

As we approach the winter months, please be alert for the winter storms!

A winter storm is an event in which the main types of precipitation are snow, sleet or freezing rain.

Why can winter storms be so dangerous?

Most deaths from winter storms are not directly related to the storm itself.

  • People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
  • People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations show that:

  • Of injuries related to ice and snow:
    • About 70% occur in automobiles.
    • About 25% are people caught out in the storm.
    • Majority are males over 40 years old.
  • Of injuries related to exposure to cold:
    • 50% are people over 60 years old.
    • Over 75% are males.
    • About 20% occur in the home.

How do winter storms form?

Just like any other storm at other times of the year, the right combination of ingredients is necessary for a winter storm to develop.

Three basic ingredients are necessary to make a winter storm:

  • Cold air. Below freezing temperatures in the clouds and near the ground are necessary to make snow and/or ice.
  • Lift. Something to raise the moist air to form the clouds and cause precipitation. An example of lift is warm air colliding with cold air and being forced to rise over the cold dome. The boundary between the warm and cold air masses is called a front. Another example of lift is air flowing up a mountainside.
  • Moisture. To form clouds and precipitation. Air blowing across a body of water, such as a large lake or the ocean, is an excellent source of moisture.
https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

We are Cleaning Experts

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is here to help!

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, 570-759-0966

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Fire Damage?

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties (570)759-0966

When a fire starts inside your home, it is never a pleasant experience. Fires not only threaten the safety of you and your family, but can also be costly to repair. The heat, flames, and smoke produced by a fire can cause extensive damage to your home. 
 
Whether the fire is small or large, the best choice would be to have the professionals come in and assess the situation. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is IICRC certified and have experience with different types of fire scenarios. 
 
Both the heat and smoke created by a blaze causes several types of damage to your home. Flames can burn content and building materials inside the home. Smoke spreads throughout the structure leaving behind soot and foul odors. Our professional technicians at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties are taught how to mitigate fire damage by putting each case into a category based on the severity of the damage. 
 
In fire damage situations, there are three main types of severity. Putting each damage scenario into a certain level of severity helps our specialists know what types of methods to use when mitigating the problem. The three levels are minor, medium and major fire damage. 
  
No matter how severe the damage is in your home after a fire, hiring professionals can always get you the best results. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties are available 24/7 at 570-759-0966. 

Grilling Safety Tips

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Always use caution when using a grill!

Nearly 8,900 home fires are started by grilling accidents each year.

Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines.

General grilling tips:

  •  Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Propane grills:

Before you use your grill:

  •  Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
  • Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
    • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
    • Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
    • If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
  • If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

When the grill is on:

  • As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
  • If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

Charcoal grills:

  •  There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for your restoration needs (570)759-0966

Be Prepared! Spring Storm Safety Checklist

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Always be safe!

Spring is here, which means severe weather can arrive at a moment’s notice, no matter where you live. Wind, rain, hail, tornadoes, and other elements can cause extensive damage to your home and property, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared for what Mother Nature throws your way. Below is a spring storm checklist to proactively protect your home and property from damaging spring storms.

Spring Storm Home Safety Checklist

  1. Assess. Take a walk around your property often to see if there is any damage—whether by Old Man Winter or from summer mayhem—and make necessary repairs. Small damage to roofs and chimneys that occurred during winter can turn into big headaches after any severe storm. Make sure gutters are clear and draining properly. Consider investing in a chimney cap—they’re great at keeping out moisture from heavy rains, which can damage stainless steel liners, or cause mold.
  2. Trim and prune trees. Remove dead branches that could end up being dangerous projectiles in a severe storm and cause damage not covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Are any hovering near the power source to your home? Most arborists recommend that trees and limbs be at least 10 feet away from your home. Hire one to come out and identify any problem areas. Or enlist a knowledgeable friend.
  3. Ensure sump pumps are working. Spring runoff and torrential rainstorms can all result in flooded basements. Make sure your pumps are running smoothly so they can do their job when you need them.
  4. Secure backyard items. Your backyard oasis can turn into a danger zone in a severe storm. High winds can turn unsecured items into missiles. If you’ve received a warning that a severe storm is approaching, move these items—patio furniture, lawn chairs, propane tanks, and grills, flags and poles, bird feeders, and potted or hanging plants—inside your home, shed, or garage if possible. If you can’t bring furniture or heavy items in, try using a rope or garden hose to tie them down securely.
  5. And don’t forget this important step!

    Familiarize yourself with your insurance coverage. Every homeowner should know exactly what their policy covers, or doesn’t cover, so there are no surprises in the event of storm damage. Damage to your swimming pool, for example, may not be covered.

   Be ready for power outages:
  • Think ahead. Make ice, lots of it. Fill up empty soda bottles with water and freeze them and leave them in your freezer. These will come in handy in both a cooler or the refrigerator, like an old-time icebox.
  • Stay informed. Know your electrical company’s phone number to report outages and listen for updates. If you don’t have a battery-operated radio, get one!
  • Use a cooler for essential foods. This way you can keep the refrigerator closed and keep the foods that you absolutely need to access cool and safe.
  • Disconnect. If you have an electric garage door opener, be sure to disconnect it before your stuck in the dark, without a vehicle.
  • Batteries. It’s always a good idea to have extra batteries, some drinking water, and a good first-aid kit on hand.
  • Think camping. Either get a camp stove (always use it outside) or use the grill to cook if you’ve lost power. If you have a lot in the freezer and it’s going to be a long time without power, you may just want to invite the neighbors over and grill up as much as possible before it goes bad.
  • Keep your cell phone charged before the power goes out!
  

Flash Flood Tips

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Please use caution during flash floods!

Flash Flood Safety Tips

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground. Flash floods are the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.

Flood Watch

  • A flood watch means the conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.
  • Update your phone number and e-mail address with your electric company so you can be served faster in the event of an outage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your natural gas and electricity at the main switch or valve, but only if you are able to do so safely and without standing in water.
  • Pay attention to local weather reports and emergency instructions on the radio, television, and Internet.
  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.

Flood Warning

  • During a flood warning, a flood is either happening or will happen shortly.
  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.

After A Flood

  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
  • Avoid standing water, as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
  • Never go into a basement with standing water in it unless you are sure the electricity is off.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.

Check Your Appliances...

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, (570)759-0966!

Flooding in your home can happen in the blink of an eye. One moment everything is okay, and the next moment, water is everywhere. 

Below are tips to aid in identifying and disarming their damage:

HOT WATER HEATER

What to do: Check the tank regularly for leaks. Have your tank maintained yearly. It is recommended to replace your water heater every 10 years.

WASHING MACHINE

What to do: Inspect hoses once a month. Look for signs of impending leaks, such as blisters, bulges, cracks, discoloration or kinks. Turn off the water supply to the washing machine when you go on vacation.

DISHWASHER

What to do: Tighten the drain line where it connects to under-sink plumbing. Replace the water supply line immediately if you run across a small leak. Don’t run the dishwasher while away from home.

REFRIGERATOR

What to do: Replace copper water lines with braided steel alternatives. Check the water supply line behind the fridge yearly.

AIR CONDITIONER

What to do: Install a secondary drain line and drain pan overflow switch. Have your A/C maintained regularly, which includes changing the filter and checking the refrigerant level.

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties are available 24/7, call (570)759-0966! The quick response and efficient, professional services of our team of technicians will return your home to normal in no time; we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Proactive Cleaning against COVID-19

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties (570)759-0966

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties received a call to perform a Proactive cleaning at a local commercial manufacturer on Wednesday. The client requested to have the cleaning performed by the end of that weekend. We were able to have all hands on deck to provide this service to our customer. 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 the CDC has made recommendations that “high-touch” items and areas be cleaned regularly. Some of these include:

-Kitchen/Food Areas     -Bathrooms                

-Sales Counters           - Offices           

-Hand Rails                 - Door knobs

-Carpets & Rugs          -Elevators     

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties were able to complete the proactive cleaning to several offices, locker rooms, restrooms and lunch rooms in just a few hours!

If you have any questions or would like more information regarding having your property disinfected and sanitized please give us a call (570)759-0966

24 Hour Emergency Service

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is always ready to help!

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today  (570)-759-0966

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties 

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties has specialized in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event since 2001. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Fire Damage Process

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – (570)759-0966

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources. 

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. 

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Fire Damage Process

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, available 24/7!

After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Today – (570)759-0966

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask questions regarding the fire damage event that will help us respond immediately with the appropriate equipment and resources. 

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

We carefully inspect and test adjoining rooms of your property to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. This step is crucial to developing a plan of action. 

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Fire damage can often compromise windows, walls, and roofs. To maintain security and to protect against further damage, we can board up missing windows and walls and place tarps on damaged roofs. 

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We then use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the remaining water and complete the drying process. 

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

We use specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. 

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

We clean, sanitize, and disinfect all of the restorable items and structures that were damaged by the fire. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition. We’re also trained to remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.

Step 7: Restoration

Restoration is the final step—getting your home or business to its pre-fire condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO - Proud to Help

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for all your clean up needs!

A freight truck driver from Texas was in our coverage area, when he was diagnosed with Covid-19, after he noticed his sense of smell and taste were lost, also, he experienced shortness of breath. He self-quarantined at a local hotel for 10 days when SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co. was called to disinfect the truck. The driver informed the technician he had not been in the truck in 10 days. The driver opened the unit and started the motor to allow treatment of the air system in the cab, as well as having the tech apply SERVPRO disinfectant to all surfaces. All hard surfaces were allowed several minutes of contact time with the disinfectant and then wiped down. Hoses and any areas touched by the driver on the exterior of the unit were addressed as well.

Large Residential Fire Loss

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO on-site cleaning of a chimney fire!

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co. was called to provide cleanup for a chimney fire at a residential property. There are no normal or standard fire situations, but picturing a “chimney fire”, usually there is wall damage and soot and smoke residue throughout the property. This fire was different: the entire rear wall of the main area of the house was burned away, as well as most of the original wood rafters and plywood sheathing of the roof. This home had a metal roof installed not long ago and contained the fire within the roof area. The fire companies knocked the fire down in very quick order and even managed to cover many of the owner’s antiques and belongings. SERVPRO reviewed the loss and determined the entire structure would need to be gutted to the wood studs in all occupied areas. The roof area had blown-in insulation, which after getting saturated, ended up on the floor areas along with the drywall ceiling, which was also saturated. Much of the contents in the living areas had virtually no soot. Two 30 yd and one 40 yd dumpsters later, the home is ready for a contractor to remove the metal roof, install new rafters and roofing and install drywall for the customer.

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready!

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage.

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 570-759-0966

Fire Loss

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties responding to a board up.

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties received a call on a Sunday morning from a local homeowner who had a fire at his home. Unfortunately, he and his wife were in Massachusetts at the time of the fire. He indicated the firemen were still on-site putting out hot spots. We scheduled for afternoon arrival so as not to be in the firemen’s way. We loaded a generator, board up tools, ladders, and sheets of plywood and headed to the loss. The home is 4 stories, most of the windows on front half of the home were gone as were the double front doors, plus several holes cut in the 4th story roof. By shortly after dark, all ground floor windows and doors were secured, and several second story windows as well. We also secured rear door with hasp and padlock due to the firemen forcing their way in.

Chimney Fire

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO arrived onsite to perform emergency clean up and drying.

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co was contacted by a neighboring SERVPRO franchise on a recent Saturday morning to ask if we could take a residential chimney fire in their territory. They didn’t have much info on the job and unfortunately, a winter storm was due to move in in a few hours. Our SERVPRO owner loaded a few pieces of equipment and headed to the loss after calling crew members to follow later. While on-site and waiting for the property owner, the snow started falling heavily.  We scheduled to return Sunday after roads were plowed. We were able to get more crew there on Sunday and initiate a rough cleanup of the heavier affected room and devise our plan to continue drying and cleaning during the week.

Water Loss Hazards

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO walked in to the home to find the kitchen ceiling on the floor.

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co was called to a water damage cleanup, which also included a cleanup due to the resident of the home. The resident suffered an emotional and psychological attack when seeing the water loss to the kitchen on first floor, caused by a forgotten bathtub faucet running. The resident mistakenly wanted to save her belongings on the second floor from getting wet by throwing all clothing and smaller furniture down the stairway. This caused a hazardous condition for SERVPRO personnel to remove the clothing blocking access to the second floor, but we also had to be very careful to secure the furniture from crashing down on top of personnel. The clearing of the stairway took over two hours. We found the bathroom was the only room affected on second floor. The resident’s bedrooms were unaffected by water. The kitchen, however, required almost 50% demolition, including the cabinets and counter top, damaged by water. 

Country Club Frozen Pipe

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

Crew found paint peeling in several rooms.

An affair was held in a local golf course Country Club, but when everyone left, the water was left on by mistake in the Pro shop. This building is not used in the colder months and is not set up for cold weather use. In other words, plumbing runs above the first floor, in an unheated attic space. Of course, November had one of those short, but severe, cold snaps and the copper pipe froze, sending water thru a large area of the drywall ceiling (plus 3 layers of batt insulation) and into several rooms below. Carpet, drywall, and MDF base trim were affected. Initially when SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties arrived, this loss appeared to be much larger than it ended up being, due to commercial carpeted areas being wet from the water spreading out into various rooms. Once this was extracted and dried, the size of the loss became more manageable.

Reconstruction At a High Rise

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO repaired the drywall and painted the affected area.

Due to water damage in 5 floors and 9 apartments at an assisted living facility, the amount of actual damage was restricted to ceilings having drywall removed in 2 of the apartments. The size of the repairs was fairly minimal, and the facility asked if SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties could do the repairs as their maintenance person was overloaded at the time. As the size of the repair was small, contractors were not interested in the work. SERVPRO techs installed drywall patches and finished the drywall seams, sealed and painted the ceilings affected. We do not normally perform restoration, but with the new tech’s restoration talents, we have an avenue to provide additional work for us, but also provide additional services for our customers.

Christmas Season

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Christmas Tree Safety!

It’s that time of season again! Christmas trees are being placed into residences and some businesses. Candles are being lit more often at this time of year. With the Christmas season, many avoidable home fires will occur across the country, damaging and destroying homes. There are several very timely tips to keep in mind:

  1. Keep trees watered.
  2. Use only UL approved and labeled electrical lights.
  3. Use only UL approved extension cords and outlet strips.
  4. Keep all flammable items well away for candles.
  5. Do not let tree lights on and candles lit when not at home and at bedtime.
  6. Never overload your electrical circuits.
  7. Use GFCI whenever possible.
  8. Use space heaters with care, keep away from combustible items.
  9. Smoke detectors are a must, they will save your life!
  10. Water your Christmas tree every day! A dry tree can catch on fire easily.

We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

This basement was flooded due to a pipe break to the bathroom.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Berwick basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 570-759-0966

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 570-759-0966

We provide immediate service day or night!

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO packed up and ready to go!

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Berwick. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 570-759-0966

Residential Services

Whether your Berwick home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

When Down Pours Roll Through....

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

24/7 Response 

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of more than 1,650 Franchises across the country.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today

570-759-0966

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.
    Flash Flood Warnings are changing to an Impact-Based format to improve public response. Read the factsheet.

  • Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared:A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware: An Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

 https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood-watch-warning

Fire Damage - What Can You Do?

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage

The first, and most important thing you can do after experiencing a fire is to call us at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties - our professional crews are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays, to beat the clock in attempting to salvage your home and property.  But while you wait for us to arrive, you can take these precautions to help mitigate the damage:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim, and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Do not clean any electrical equipment.
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

How do winter storms form?

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

Just like any other storm at other times of the year, the right combination of ingredients is necessary for a winter storm to develop.

Three basic ingredients are necessary to make a winter storm:

  • Cold air. Below freezing temperatures in the clouds and near the ground are necessary to make snow and/or ice.
  • Lift. Something to raise the moist air to form the clouds and cause precipitation. An example of lift is warm air colliding with cold air and being forced to rise over the cold dome. The boundary between the warm and cold air masses is called a front. Another example of lift is air flowing up a mountainside.
  • Moisture. To form clouds and precipitation. Air blowing across a body of water, such as a large lake or the ocean, is an excellent source of moisture.

https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

Hotel Water Emergency

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial water loss!

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co. was contacted at 8:00 PM on Saturday, September 21 by a local hotel, regarding a broken pipe leaking water into the lobby and first floor area of the building. The maintenance manager indicated the loss didn’t spread as far as the last loss SERVPRO responded to at the same location almost a year ago to the day. Once SERVPRO was on-site and forms signed, personnel found there were more walls affected, but less flooring affected. Also, we found water still running from the large PEX pipe. SERVPRO personnel made a makeshift repair to funnel the water into a large laundry tub, so that we could finish extracting water from the affected areas. One issue the hotel guests had was the noise from the truck mount unit, but SERVPRO completed the extraction as quickly as was possible under the circumstances. SERVPRO also tried to locate an after-hours plumber to repair the pipe earlier than the time frame the hotels’ plumber scheduled to fix it on Monday AM.

3 Day Dry Time

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO floating carpet to aid in drying.

Restoration and Remediation magazine recently had an article regarding a 3 day drying time frame that continues to vex the mitigation vendors. Some insurance carriers feel that 3 days is sufficient to dry structures. The R&R article relates a very apt analogy comparing doing laundry to drying materials in a structure. People unfamiliar with doing laundry may think putting different materials and fabrics into a dryer and running it for 30 minutes will have all items be dry. We know this isn’t true. Heavier fabrics such as jeans or towels will take longer, light weight items will dry much faster. Same with drying structural materials in a building: multiple layers of drywall, several coats of paint, wallpaper, varying textures can extend drying time.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties to handle all your mitigation needs! (570)759-0966

Faster to your Columbia County Water Damage

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Columbia County.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  As you can see in this picture, SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties arrived onsite to find the drywall and insulation falling from the ceiling. The entire finished basement was affected by water damage. Our crew went to work assessing the damage and started the water extraction process almost immediately. 

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 –570-759-0966

We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

This Columbia County home’s basement flooded due to heavy rains. 

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Columbia County basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today:  570-759-0966

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 570-759-0966

Summer Storms

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Summer storms

With the summer months upon us, comes the unpredictable weather! SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is prepared to handle all your storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its original pre-storm condition. 

When storms hit, we have the resources to handle a large storm, hurricane or flooding disaster. We can access resources equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Call Us Today 570-759-0966! 

Apartment Fire

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

Extensive Fire

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties received a call for a fire at a five apartment structure. The fire was quite extensive on the rear apartment, with varying amounts of damage and soot/water damage to the remaining 4 other apartments. SERVPRO conferred with the building owner to start on the left two apartments, which sustained the least damage and soot. Contents had been left in the apartments by the tenants and were given ample notice and time to remove what was wanted All the rest was removed to dumpsters by both the owner and SERVPRO personnel. SERVPRO has been working on cleaning the structure as well as removing the flooring materials per the owner. SERVPRO is on the third apartment which is much heavier contaminated with soot. The fourth apartment will require mostly demolition due to proximity to the fire origin. 

Summer Relaxation

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

With the weather finally changing for the better here in Northeast PA, more people are gathering around a fire pit/bonfire for their relaxation. During this time, it is of prime importance to consider where you will be building your fire. It is imperative that you follow the necessary fire safety tips to prevent fire damage.

Some of those tips include:

Whether you prefer a built-in or portable fire pit, choose one that is not too large for the area. The pit should be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials as well as away from trees, fences, sheds, power lines, and telephone wires.

Make sure that the seating area is large enough and properly placed for comfort and ventilation.

Avoid starting a bonfire if it is windy because a strong breeze could blow sparks onto nearby people or surfaces.

Burn only dry material. Damp material will create excess smoke.

Don’t use lighter fluid or gasoline to get the fire going as it could get out of control. Don't burn tires, aerosols, fireworks, or anything containing paint or foam to avoid toxic fumes which could explode and cause injury.

Use a lighter and crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks to start the fire, then add larger sticks and a log or two to keep it burning.

Wear non-flammable clothing and hard-soled shoes when starting, sitting near, or extinguishing the fire.

Never leave the fire unattended, and keep pets and children far away from the fire as they will be attracted to it.

Keep the proper fire extinguishing equipment, or at least a water hose, handy in case there is an emergency. You could also fill a bucket with sand, which can be used instead of water to help extinguish a fire.

As the fire dies down, use a shovel and spread out the ashes to allow them to cool down. Then slowly pour water over those ashes and watch them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain or reignite. Put the cooled ashes in an specially designated ash storage metal can.

We at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties are dedicated to having the fastest 24-Hour Emergency Service response to any fire damage that unexpectedly happens in our area. Immediate action is crucial to limiting the damage, and we have the trained and experienced team and specialized equipment that are necessary for the prompt activities and later for restoring a home or business.

Relaxation?

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Imagine you are away on vacation, relieving the stress from normal everyday life. When you return home, you walk in to water pouring from your ceiling! This happens more than one would think.

Here are a few tips you should consider before leaving:

  • Turn off your water valve. 
  • Turn off your gas. 

Discovering your home has suffered from water damage from flooding, a busted pipe, roof leak or a sump pump backup is not fun, extremely inconvenient and the water damage will quickly become your worst enemy. It’s important that you act swiftly and promptly after making a water loss discovery to help minimize the damage.

A fast response time is essential. This will help to reduce wicking into porous materials and secondary damage to other contents surrounding the affected damaged area. Additionally, a fast response will help to minimize the potential for mold and mildew growth and can cut costs in the long run.

Aside from notifying your insurance agent of the damage, contact SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties. After you’ve contacted SERVPRO, there are a few things you can do before the restoration professionals arrive to help get the restoration process moving faster. Here are some tips and things to do to help prepare:

  • Watch for slips and falls.
  • Make temporary repairs to protect your home or business from further or other damage.
  • Make sure source of loss is fixed (sump pump, broken water line, hot water heater, etc.)
  • If water came from overhead, make sure to stay away from those areas, as the ceiling could collapse.
  • Remove any artwork from the affected area.
  • Make sure wooden furniture is removed from the affected area or wooden blocks, plastic bags, or aluminum foil is placed under the legs.
  • Make sure that colored rugs are removed from the affected area, so that extra staining does not occur to the carpet
  • Remove fragile pieces from the affected area.
  • If it is the summer, keep the AC unit running as this helps eliminate some of the humidity.
  • Finally, things that are wet can be very heavy so be careful!

Remember that with any water loss situation, your fast reaction time to stopping the source of water loss from continuing and getting the right people for job onsite ASAP is crucial to limiting water damage and even cost.

Commercial Roof Leak

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Falling, wet ceiling tiles...

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co was called to a commercial water loss at the training Medical Center in Laporte, PA. The loss was caused by a roof leak when the flat roofing material was being replaced. Suspended ceiling tiles were affected in the front half of the building, as well as insulation on the heating duct, drywall in a hallway and a bedroom and bathroom. Minimal damage occurred to the building: SERVPRO was able to remove vinyl cove base to ventilate the wall cavities and dry the walls. The ceilings were dried by placing air flow both below and above the surfaces.  Carpeting had dried prior to our arrival. Once drying was accomplished, within 3 days, the roofing company was proceeding in restoring the building.

Have You Been Affected By Fire?

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

This is a picture of a tarped roof.

Have You Been Affected By Fire?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 374,000 U.S. homes catch fire annually. The cumulative cost for these fires is almost 8 billion annually. Cooking fires are the leading cause of home structure fires and injuries. Most people know of someone that has
been affected by a fire. We all see the effects on property with boarded up and tarped buildings. The effects on the people that have sustained a home fire. The physical stress is enormous as is the emotional stress of losing your material possessions and possibly family or pets. Financial liabilities can ruin the family if insurance does not adequately cover the loss or if there is no insurance. Even if you rent a property, it is recommended that you have renters insurance to cover your contents.

Smoke Pressurized in Walls

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Some types of smoke or soot cleanup can be less intrusive than others. When the smoke or soot is caused by slow burning, lower heat fires, the cleanup may be on surfaces only. For hotter burning fires, the air pressure increases on the
wall and ceiling surfaces, forcing smoke into the spaces inside the wall and ceiling cavities. This can be evident around electrical outlet or light switch covers. Failure to remove the walls and ceiling surfaces and any insulation in the cavities will leave the odor to become a large problem later in the restoration process. This adds immensely to the cost of the remediation and restoration.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for all your cleaning needs, 24/7 at 570-759-0966

Will you be ready?

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Will you be ready?

Floods

Floods are the most common type of natural disaster in the United States and the leading cause of weather-related deaths. Floods can be caused by many different natural or manmade phenomena including hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis or sustained heavy rains.

Unlike other types of disasters that tend to be more regional or seasonal in nature, flooding can happen at any time and in every part of the country. Just because an area has never had flooding doesn’t mean that it will never experience one. And, areas that have flooded previously may experience another flood in the future.

Floods vary in nature. Flash floods develop quickly, sometimes within minutes of a rain event. Other floods develop over a period of days, or they may accompany another disaster, such as a tornado or hurricane. Flooding can also occur if a dam or levee breaks.

Flood Terms you should know

100-Year Flood: A statistical estimate that models stream flow peaks over a period of time to determine if a watershed has a 1% chance of flooding in any given year, or a chance of flooding once every 100 years.

Flash Flood Statement: A statement issued to inform the public about current flash flood conditions.

Flash Flood Warning: A life and property threatening flash flood is occurring or will occur within the next six hours. Anyone in a flood prone area should move to higher ground.

Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. This is issued when flooding is expected within 6 hours after a heavy rain has ended. Be prepared to move to higher ground.

Flash Flood: A flood in hilly or mountainous areas that occurs after a heavy rain.

Flood Advisory: Announcements issued to advise the public of a minor flood event.

Flood Stage: The point at which a body of water overflows banks onto dry land.

Flood Warning: An 80% chance of moderate or major flooding is occurring or will occur soon. Prepare to evacuate. Evacuate if advised to do so.

Flood Watch: There is a 50% chance of flooding.

Flood: Partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land or of two or more properties by tidal waters, runoff of surface waters, mudflow or collapse of land surrounding a lake or other body of water.

Floodplain: Any land area that is susceptible to flooding from any source.

Major Flooding: Flooding with extensive damage to structures and/or roads.

Minor Flooding: Flooding with minimal or no property damage.

Moderate Flooding: Flooding that impacts some buildings and roads near a stream or other body of water.

Now that you know more about the major storms that you could experience, use this checklist to make sure your facility is prepared to handle these weather events. We also included specific steps to take before, during and after each major storm.

SERVPRO will be standing by to help as needed

3 Types of Water Categories

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Let us help you to understand the different categories of water damage.  There are 3 different types.

CAT 1 - water that comes from a sanitary water source and that do not pose substantial health risks.  Even if the water loss came from a clean water source in the beginning, the environment or the time that passes since the damage occurred can change the classification of the water to a Category 2 or a Category 3.

CAT 2 – water that originates from toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure, and water discharge from dishwasher or washing machines.  Rainwater that makes its way into a home from the outside is also considered and treated as a Category 2 since there is no way of determining what types of contaminants it encountered before entering a property.

CAT 3 – Black or Toxic Water – water that is extremely contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic, or other harmful agents.  This kind of water may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toilet trap (no matter what is in it or the color), all forms of flooding ground surface water and rising water from rivers or streams, and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms, or other weather related events.

We’re always here to help you understand your situation, to resolve your water loss problems and get you back to “Like it never even happened”!

4 Classes of Water Damage

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

CLASS 1 – Slow Rate of Evaporation.  The water affects only a portion of a room.  Materials have a low permeance/porosity.  Minimum moisture is absorbed by the materials.

CLASS 2 – Fast Rate of Evaporation.  The water affects the entire room of carpet and padding.  The water may have wicked up the walls, but not more than 24 inches.

CLASS 3 – Fastest Rate of Evaporation.  The water generally comes from overhead, affected the entire area, walls, ceiling, insulation carpet, carpet pad, etc.

CLASS 4 – Specialty Drying Situations.  This involves materials with a very low permeance/porosity, such as hardwood floor, concrete, crawl, plaster, etc.  Drying generally requires very low specific humidity to accomplish the drying process.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties 24/7, 570-759-0966

Assessment of Water Damage

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

HEALTH & SAFETY

Every situation is different and requires careful assessment and constant monitoring to ensure proper removal of water and any contamination.  When handling a water loss, we will be exposed to many hazards.  The water may contain sewage, pesticides and other waterborne organisms that can cause disease.  There may even be sharp objects and other debris in the water.  Therefore, we take caution when entering any water damaged structure.  We are not only concerned about the health and safety of our technicians, but also the health and safety of you, our customers.

INSPECTION & INITIAL STEPS

We will schedule to scope the damages of the water loss, using thermo hygrometer and moisture content meters, take pictures and measure the affected areas.  We will determine what areas need to be dried out and areas that need to be removed.  In order to dry these areas, we will use industrial size LGR dehumidifiers, desiccant dehumidifiers, air movers, and axial air movers.

MITIGATION

It is important to note that Water Damage Mitigation is unlike most other types of contractor work.  An upfront estimate is typically not provided due to the progressive conditions inherent to water damage.  Most of the time when a contractor is hired they will provide a general scope of work in their contract and begin work immediately.  Unlike other contractors who have time to price out different materials and know exactly what work needs to be done during a remodeling of a home for example, emergency restoration contractors are working against the clock and taking the necessary time required to estimate a job would cause the spread of water unaffected areas as well a potential for mold.

Restoring Commercial Properties

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we are dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Call our office 24/7, at 570-759-0966 for all your needs!

Washing Machine Malfunctions

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

One of the chief causes for water damage to homes is the washing machine. With more automated machines and the level of complexity in today's machines, there are more areas that can fail. Some areas of failure: the pump may fail to pump water out or keep up with the water coming in and can cause the machine to overflow. A common cause is the supply water lines. These can be rubber hoses or can be flexible braided metal lines. Over time, the constant pressure may eventually cause a bubble to form near the end of the line. Washing machine hoses should be replaced every 3-4 years.

It has become more common for people to place their laundry room on a second floor. If a washing machine malfunctions, water can easily seep through the flooring into the ceiling and rooms below. A situation like this needs to be handled as quickly as possible to avoid further damages, but cleaning up a mess this large requires professional knowledge and tools.

If you should have a water emergency,call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties at 570-759-0966!

We have emergency ready crews 24/7 365 days a year and can handle the task. 

5 Common Causes of Water Damage

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

There are several common sources of water damage in homes and businesses. Pipes, appliances, flooding, leaks in building envelope, humidity.

  • Pipes: one of the most prevalent. All homes and businesses have pipe carrying water under pressure. Extreme cold can cause pipes to burst. At times, spikes in water pressure can cause pipes to leak.
  • Appliances: washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerator water lines, toilets, fish tanks are all possible sources of water damage.
  • Flooding: typically flood waters are considered Cat 3 due to carrying biohazard materials from sewage plants, farms, etc. These are the more difficult to mitigate for the reason and caused more widespread damage.
  • Leaks in building envelope: roofs, walls, windows. Each area of leakage can be difficult to find and even more difficult to remedy. Experienced structural personnel may need to be called to first fix the cause before mitigation can proceed.
  • Humidity: levels of humidity that are too high in a structure can cause moisture damage to walls, ceilings, contents, etc.

For all your water damage needs, call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties! 570-759-0966

Spring Clean Up

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

With the temperatures getting warmer outside, people are cleaning up their yards from the winter months. We urge people to use extreme caution with burning brush or other debris. Brush fires can start quickly and also can catch a house on fire, just as quick!

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Clean your garage of stored newspapers or other rubbish that can fuel a fire.
  • Use outdoor barbecue grills with caution. Place them in a safe area away from building, windows, heating/air conditioning units or places with high/dead vegetation.
  • Check your propane barbecue grill hose for leaks and cracks; never store propane indoors.
  • Keep outdoor debris or dead vegetation away from the house.
  • Never use gasoline to start the fire, and don't add charcoal lighter fluid once the fire has started.

Restoring your commercial property after a water damage event

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Restoring your commercial property

Commercial properties face additional pressures over a personal property or home that has suffered water damage. The business needs to get back up and running ASAP in order to meet demands of their customers, provide jobs for employees, and keep their vendors orders coming in. Many times, the business can be open and work around the mitigation process, although it may cause some reorganization of the process flow or personnel’s normal day to day routines. Drying equipment, extension cords, power supplies and hoses can be kept out of the way as much as possible, with safety of the customer and employees being of the highest priority. Getting the structure and equipment, contents dry as quickly as possible will save future issues with mold.

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties 24/7 for all your emergency needs, 570-759-0966

Sprinkler System Freeze

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Sprinkler systems in commercial buildings can sometimes go years without being flushed and so can be stagnant. Some also have additives such as glycol to help prevent freezing. When the sprinkler systems do freeze, the resulting water damage can be extensive as the pipes are generally 3/4 inch or larger and carry a large amount of water and take time to get shut off. The ceilings in many commercial buildings are suspended tile and grid, when these get wet, they collapse onto desks, equipment, etc, making a mess. The cleanup can be extensive, with commercial carpet and tile needing to be extracted, dried and cleaned. Many areas will need to be disinfected due to possible contaminates in the sprinkler system.

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 570-759-0966

Localized Storm

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Localized storm occurrences can overwhelm any local franchise company. If the local company is unable to handle increased workload by bringing in temporary labor, the next step would be for the franchise to call in reinforcements from neighboring franchises. In the event they are also maxed out, then a storm team activation may be needed. These are groups of franchises, sometimes from out of state, that have agreed beforehand to mobilize as needed to work storm jobs for up to several weeks at a time.

 Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24 hours/7 days a week to storm or flood damage in Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties.

For all your water emergencies, contact SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties at 570-759-0966

Got Mold?

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Got Mold?

Do you have mold? Mold is natural and occurs everywhere. It has been around for as long as the earth as been sustaining life. Mold is also mentioned in the Bible, regarding how to deal with the mold and how to clean it. There are thousands of species of mold, with varying needs of moisture, temperature, food source, and time needed to grow. Mold can be found in refrigerators, in the desert, and in all climates in between. Mold becomes an issue when there is too much in our indoor, closed in, environments.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 570-759-0966

Causes of Mold: What Mold Needs to Grow

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth on planks

There are thousands of species of mold. All have several factors in common: what they need to grow. The chief requirements needed are:

  • Moisture - different molds need varying amounts of moisture to grow. Some grow better with only high humidity and some require very wet materials for longer periods of time.
  • Food Source - our homes, businesses, contents, etc. all are made with materials that are a food source for mold. Drywall, wood, cardboard, wallpaper and the paste that holds it to the surface. Even polyurethane coating on wood doors allows a surface for growth.
  • Temperatures - you have probably noticed mold growing on unused food in your refrigerator. As cold as this is, some molds still grow. Various molds prefer widely different temperatures.
  • Time - if materials in a building stay wet long enough, mold will surely grow. Many molds require as little as 2-3 days, some require several more days to become visible.

When the Freeze Hits Home

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is here for all your water damage needs!

Are you prepared for freezing temperatures? 

Protect Your Pipes

We all know that water expands when it freezes. If water inside your pipes freezes, it also expands and can cause your pipes to crack or burst. Follow these easy steps to prevent this catastrophic damage:

  • -Leave water dripping from your faucets. Running water through your pipes overnight will help prevent pipes from freezing.
  • -Cover all outdoor faucets with foam insulators that you can get from a local hardware store.
  • -Know where your water shutoff value is in the case of emergency. In most homes it can be found in the basement or buried near the road.
  • -Leave your cabinet doors open under a sink faucet to help heat circulate. This is important for homes that do not have excellent heat circulation  throughout the house.

  Check Your Heat

The time to ensure you’re staying warm in your home is not during a winter storm. Now is a good time to check your furnace or heat source by turning it on and doing a test run. If you did not change your air filter at the start of the winter season you will want to consider replacing with a new one. A clogged filter is less efficient and means your home may not be warming properly.

We are here for you: 

If your property has been a victim of frozen pipes, call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour and Sullivan Counties! SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist with all your water damage needs. 

Call our office at (570)759-0966!

Faster to your Water Damage

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (570)759-0966

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Prepared to Handle Your Water Damage

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is prepared to handle all of you water damage needs. Did your dishwasher malfunction? Did your washer overflow? Frozen/Ruptured pipes? We have the knowledge and experience to service all your needs. 

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage. If your water damage is not addressed, it can lead to bigger issues, including mold!

We are Water Mitigation Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Flooded Home? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (570)759-0966

Helpful Hints for Freezing Temperatures

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Helpful Hints for Freezing Temperature:

• Keep your home heated to a minimum of 65 degrees to keep the inside walls from freezing.

• Know where your main water shutoff is located within your home in case a pipe would burst due to freezing.

• Turn on Hot AND Cold faucets to a "slow drip" AND open cabinet doors below sink if there are any ... this will help to prevent freezing pipes.

• Make sure all hoses are disconnected from outside spigots.

• If you should happen to discover that pipes ARE frozen ... don't wait for them to burst. Take measures to safely thaw them immediately, or call a plumber for assistance.

• After all precautions ... if your pipes should still burst from freezing, first thing to do is turn off the main water line. Then mop up water as quickly as possible to prevent any further damage.

For all your water damage needs, call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties at (570)759-0966

Why Use SERVPRO for your Mitigation Needs

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Flooded Kitchen in Columbia County, PA

When you have flooding from a broken pipe, pipe burst cleanup is the first thought that pops into your head. You are a smart person, a homeowner and a handy one at that! So you can easily fix a pipe and clean some water, right? Unfortunately, you may be wrong. Water damage causes serious issues that may not be visible to the untrained eye. Restoration specialists have the skills necessary for any type of water damage, whether you require a clean water removal or sewer cleanup company. Remember the three Ts when considering if a restoration company is right for you:

1. Training

Our water restoration specialists are trained in the specific needs of both residential and commercial properties. Certification by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) ensures that the technicians of SERVPRO are knowledgeable and current in their field of expertise. This includes health and safety concerns, drying methods, pipe burst cleanup procedures and restoration of both structural elements and contents.

2. Tools

Restoration specialists have tools that you do not have at your disposal. Professional grade pumps and vacuums are used to remove excess water. Moisture levels are monitored with hygrometers and other specialized detectors. Industrial strength dryers and dehumidifiers remove any remaining moisture to prevent secondary problems such as mold. Hidden moisture is detected using infrared cameras.

3. Techniques

Restoration companies employ specialists in many areas, including water damage, storm damage and mold remediation. Different techniques are employed depending on your specific situation. For water restoration, a variety of cleaning methods are used including immersion, foam, wet, dry and others specific to the needs of the material. Restoration processes are tailored as well.

Pipe burst cleanup is not the same as wiping up a glass of spilled water. When you have significant water damage in your home, SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties has the training, tools and techniques to restore your residence to preloss condition.

Why SERVPRO when it comes to storm damage!

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Although no one can stop the rains, there are ways to limit flooding in your home. Overland flooding or backups due to overwhelmed storm sewage systems are but two of the sources of floodwaters in the lower levels of your home. Regardless of the source of the water, we have the technicians and the equipment to help you recover.
 
Even though the water causing flood damage to your home may be drawing your eyes down as it seeps into the foundation or lower levels, the problem often is at the roofline. Clogged gutters and damaged downspouts cause water to pound down near the perimeter of your home, saturating the soil and ultimately invading through the slab, poured, or cinder block foundation. We can respond to and restore the damage but expect suggestions from our managers or production crew to minimize or even eliminate future flooding.
 
The grading and landscaping around your home can also contribute to the seepage of floodwaters into the foundation. Over time even correctly graded ground can erode and shift, encouraging rainwater to drain into your home rather than away from it. SERVPRO crews also see scenarios where plantings surrounding your home contribute to excess water moving into the porous materials making up the base and protecting the lower levels of your house. Irrigation systems or merely an overdone watering of foundation gardens have the unhappy result of a wet home.
 
SERVPRO evaluates the characteristics of the water flooding into your home to determine whether it needs to be contained and disposed of according to local regulations. The sooner you get our team to your home the more likely that the water checks out as Category 1. If the soil around your home is loose, dirt particles can flow in with the water. Lawn chemicals, fertilizers, and even pet wastes can taint the water, requiring careful handling. Gutter overflow can also contain bird and animal waste and mold, threatening the flooded area with microbial growth if not disinfected and dried out after the flood water evacuates.
 
Submersible pumps and water extractors pull most of the flood water out of your home. If Category 1 we can drain it outside, but take care to deposit far from the house to prevent it from flooding again. We use moisture meters and infrared scanners to locate hidden pockets of moisture and to set a baseline for drying goals. SERVPRO crews position air movers, heaters, and dehumidifiers to dry out the affected space. The moisture numbers are monitored to ensure we achieve standard levels.
 
The team at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties has the necessary training and experience to remediate seepage-based flooding. Do not hesitate to call us if we can help!

Doing What It Takes

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO will do what it takes to accomplish our goal of satisfying the customer!

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co performed quite a number of flood cleanups following the many flash floods in Columbia, Sullivan and Bradford Counties from July thru September 2018. Our most notable cleanup wasn’t the house itself, which sustained approximately 12” of flood water from a nearby creek. It was the access to the property that caused some consternation among the crew. The cabin among others, is isolated across a creek that was, until the July flooding, was accessible by driving across a ford area. The flooding dredged the ford to a lower point making the drive impossible. The only access is to cross a 180’ suspension bridge, installed after the 2011 flooding destroyed an earlier foot bridge. This suspension bridge, while being safe to cross, tends to bounce and sway when crossing it. Especially when taking equipment such as airmovers and dehumidifiers across, also when carrying cleaning supplies. Just goes to show that SERVPRO will do what it takes to accomplish our goal of satisfying the customer!

Its That Time of Year, Protect Your Home During Extreme Cold Weather

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Cold Weather

Protect Your Home During Extreme Cold Weather 

Extreme cold weather can be hard on both you and your home. Here are some tips to put into practice when freezing weather, snow, and ice hit your area.

How to Deal with Frozen Pipes

  • Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
  • Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
  • Turn off water to outside faucets, if available, and open valves on faucets to allow them to drain.
  • Turn off sprinkler system and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them.
  • Close or cover foundation vents under house and windows to basements.
  • Close garage doors.
  • Insulate exposed pipes (both hot and cold) under house with foam pipe insulation.
  • Open cabinet doors under sinks.
  • Drip hot and cold faucets in kitchen and bath. Drip single control faucets with lever set in middle.
  • Set ice maker to make ice if the water line to it runs under the house.
  • Don’t forget to check on pipes to your washing machine in the laundry room
  • Locate water main cut-off valve, and have a cut-off key handy.
  • Use a hair dryer, heat lamp, electric heat tape, or a portable space heater to thaw frozen pipes that have not burst.
  • Keep the faucet open when thawing frozen pipes to allow water to begin flowing through it.
  • After the weather has warmed above freezing and any frozen pipes have thawed, turn off dripping faucets and monitor your water meter to check for unseen leaks.

How to Keep Warm in Your Home

  • Have your furnace inspected before cold weather arrives. Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks, install a clean air filter, and check the thermostat to see if it’s working properly.
  • Inspect fireplaces, and chimneys before using, and have them cleaned if needed.
  • Keep drapes and blinds closed, except when windows are in direct sunlight.
  • Put up storm windows, or install sheet plastic window insulation kits on the inside of windows.
  • Cover or remove any window air conditioners.
  • Insulate electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls with foam seals available at home centers. 
  • Caulk any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.
  • Repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around doors and windows.
  • Run paddle ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air.
  • Put draft snakes on window sills, between window frames, and against doors.
  • If you heat with propane or fuel oil, make sure the tank is full.
  • If you heat with wood or coal, have plenty of fuel on hand.

How to Protect the Outside of Your Home

  • Spray an ice repellent solution on steps and walks before freezing weather arrives
  • Check antifreeze levels in cars. Add if needed, then run the engine to circulate the new antifreeze through the radiator and engine block.
  • Add freeze resistant windshield wiper fluid, and spay to circulate it in lines.
  • Check air pressure in tires, since cold weather causes the pressure to lower.
  • Bring in container plants, add mulch around plants, and cover plants that are prone to frost damage. Remove covering when temperatures warm above freezing.
  • Drain birdbaths and fountains
  • Gently sweep snow off plants and shrubs in an upward motion with a broom.
  • Use rock salt, sand, or clay based kitty litter on walks and drives (NOTE: Salt can damage grass and other plants).
  • Don’t overdo it when using a snow shovel.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts before cold weather arrives to prevent ice from forming in them.
  • Stay off your roof during freezing weather, but once the ice and snow have melted, inspect your roof for any damage.

Snow Storms & Extreme Cold

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Are You Ready?

During Snowstorms and Extreme Cold

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive: travel in the day; don’t travel alone; keep others informed of your schedule and your route; stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
  • Wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to reduce heat loss.so, which route will be safest for you to get home. Drive with extra caution.

After Snowstorms and Extreme Cold

  • Bring any personal items that you would need to spend the night (such as toiletries, medicines). Take precautions when traveling to the shelter. Dress warmly in layers, wear boots, mittens, and a hat.

  • Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.

Winter Weather Watches and Warnings

  • Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify an extreme winter weather alerts:
  • Freezing Rain - Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.

  • Sleet - Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.

  • Wind Chill- Windchill is the temperature it “feels like” when you are outside. The NWS provides a Windchill Chart to show the difference between air temperature and the perceived temperature and the amount of time until frostbite occurs. For more information, visit: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/windchill.shtml.

  • Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening. The NWS issues a winter weather advisory when conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is used, these situations should not be life-threatening.

  • Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information. The NWS issues a winter storm watch when severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area but the location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued 12 to 36 hours in advance of a potential severe storm. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, local radio, TV, or other news sources for more information. Monitor alerts, check your emergency supplies, and gather any items you may need if you lose power.

  • Winter Storm Warning - A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.

  • Blizzard Warning - Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.

  • Frost/Freeze Warning - Below freezing temperatures are expected.

Fire Safety

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Please clean & inspect your chimney before first use this season!

As the weather starts to change, so should your fire safety considerations in your home. Preventing fires is important all year long, and focusing on the appropriate fire safety tips for the season can make your efforts more worthwhile.  Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as the temperature gets cooler and the leaves start to fall.

1. Candle Safety- You might be tempted to start bringing out your favorite fall scented candles soon. There’s just something about a beautiful, fragrant candle that feels comforting on a fall day. Candles come with their own safety considerations, however. Keep candles 12 inches away from anything that can burn and blow out candles when you are leaving the room. Never use a candle if there is oxygen being used in your home for medical purposes; electric candles are a safer option.

2. Heating equipment- Make sure your heating equipment is in working order and has been inspected before you start to use it. Since this equipment has been out of use for the last several months, it’s important that you follow the appropriate steps to make sure the unit is clean and functioning properly. If you use space heaters, make sure that they are surrounded by three feet of empty space and that they are turned off when you leave the house or go to bed.

3. Chimney inspection- if you have a usable fireplace, it’s essential to make sure that it is cleaned and inspected before you start using it to prevent built up creosote from starting a fire. Cozying up next to a beautiful fire might be a quintessential part of your fall, but make sure that you do so as safely as possible. Also, consider using a screen to prevent sparks from igniting a fire somewhere in your home.

Frozen Pipes

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break.

Pipes that freeze most frequently are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
  • Water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets.
  • Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation.

How to Protect Pipes From Freezing

Before the onset of cold weather, protect your pipes from freezing by following these recommendations:

  • Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. Insulation will maintain higher temperatures in these areas.
  • Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas. Look in the garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Newspaper can provide some degree of insulation and protection to exposed pipes – even ¼” of newspaper can provide significant protection in areas that usually do not have frequent or prolonged temperatures below freezing.
  • Consider relocating exposed pipes to provide increased protection from freezing.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

How to Thaw Frozen Pipes

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame device.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you are unable to locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you can not thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too.

Chimney Safety

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

As we approach the winter season, the simple pleasures of gathering around the fireplace become more and more common. To ensure the safety of yourself and family members, be sure to follow these crucial steps before deciding to light a fire.

Have your fireplace professionally cleaned – According to the National Fire Protection Association, you should have your chimney swept at least once a year by a professional cleaning service. This type of service entails cleaning inside and outside the chimney.

  1. Always cap your chimney – Placing a cap on your chimney prevents outside debris, rain, and even vermin from entering your fireplace.
  2. Burn seasoned wood – Not all wood is safe for your fireplace. If you have any questions about what wood to choose, visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America website.
  3. Place a small amount of wood in the fire – A small amount of wood generates less smoke. Less smoke is not only beneficial to your own health, but it also means less damage to your chimney.
  4. Place the wood on a metal grate – This allows the air to circulate around the logs.
  5. Use a guard – Placing a guard on both sides of your fireplace can prevent any sparks from flying out and potentially harming yourself or any appliances that are nearby.
  6. Put out the fire safely – After the fire dies down, be sure to bury the logs at the bottom of the fireplace and pour sand on it to ensure that it is out.

Types of Chimney Fires

  • Free Burning: Extremely loud blaze with visible flames and smoke coming out of the chimney top.
  • Slow Burning: Much quieter than a free burning fire. This type of chimney fire often goes unnoticed since they burn slower and at high temperatures. Slow burning fires are still extremely dangerous.

At SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, safety is our #1 concern and we hope that you and your family are able to enjoy the splendors of a fireplace fire this winter season.  

School Flooding

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

This flooded classroom was caused by recent flash flooding.

August 13 was a day of devastation for many in Columbia County as well as other counties. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan County was performing water and flood damage cleanup for residences even before the Monday storm. On Tuesday morning, the Benton School District contacted Tom Hess and indicated help was needed at the L. Ray Appleman Elementary school: several class rooms, hallways, bathrooms, and large numbers of contents were damaged by flooding.

SERVPRO personnel Tom Hess, Jennifer West, part time personnel Mason Hill and Destinee Good arrived after 12:00 PM and met with the staff to decide how best to tackle the cleanup. School is scheduled to open on Wednesday, August 22. The school staff: Jim Hartkorn, John Hook, Mark Force, Jeff Kelsey, Steve Diltz, Zanna Kinney, Melissa Hudack, James Mathews and Jim Matthews were all very hard working individuals and made the SERVPRO personnel feel welcome and part of the crew.

The school staff took care of moving contents (desks, chairs, cabinets, misc items) out of the rooms. They then removed the heavy amounts of mud. SERVPRO personnel did the detail cleaning of the floors, walls, contents. SERVPRO moved many of the contents back into the classrooms.

From Tuesday afternoon to Friday at 2:00 PM, the SERVPRO crew, aided by Adam Prukala and Makayla Hill, and the excellent staff at the Benton Elementary school worked diligently and cooperatively to complete the interior cleaning and prepare for the teachers to set up their classrooms for the coming year.

Columbia, Montour & Sullivan County Residents:We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

This Columbia County home’s basement flooded due to heavy rains.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 570-759-0966

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 570-759-0966

SERVPRO Hosting Continuing Education Classes

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Do you need to earn additional Continuing Education Credits for your professional license? 

SERVPRO® of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties will be hosting two Continuing Education classes for Insurance Professionals on Wednesday, October 3, 2018at our officelocated at 18 Sweet Valley Road, Hunlock Creek, PA 18621.

9AM – 11AM   Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry. This will award 2 Continuing Education Credit Hours. 100% Attendance is REQUIRED in order to receive Continuing Education Credit for this course.

11:00AM – 1PM    Restoring Contaminated Buildings. This will award 2 Continuing Education Credit Hours. 100% Attendance is REQUIRED in order to receive Continuing Education Credit for this course.

**Please remember to bring your Photo ID and Licensing Number. ** 

To reserve your seat, please contact:

SERVPRO® of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties at 570-759-0966 or send an email to SERVPRO8807@ptd.net

Class Size is Limited. Please Confirm Guests Attending.


Working to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Professional Solutions For Your Flooded Home

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

When rain damages your home, the SERVPRO crew has the training and equipment to remediate the damage

When several inches of rain fall over a couple of days, the ground around your home becomes supersaturated. Water caught inches or even feet below the surface must find release, often into your lower levels, slab foundation, or crawl spaces beneath your home. A professional response to the water flooding into your home is essential. 

The quantity of rainwater falling during recent storms 

Drywall in this home was removed up to the water lever after flood damage.

When rain damages your home, the SERVPRO crew has the training and equipment to remediate the damage

When several inches of rain fall over a couple of days, the ground around your Little Rock home becomes supersaturated. Water caught inches or even feet below the surface must find release, often into your lower levels, slab foundation, or crawl spaces beneath your home. A professional response to the water flooding into your home is essential. 

The quantity of rainwater falling during recent storms, caused flood damage, overwhelming the ability of homeowners to remediate. During the flooding event, your home’s structural components and stored personal possessions are at risk for irreversible damage. Our water loss crews assess the scenario swiftly and put their IICRC training and experience on the line to remove the flood water and dry out both building materials and your home’s contents. 

Our SERVPRO vehicles arrive with high-efficiency pumps and water extractors as well as the highly qualified technicians to operate them on board. If your home’s electricity is unavailable temporarily in the aftermath of the storm, our equipment uses truck-mounted power generators to remove the water. Any delay in response to the flooding poses a range of threats to your home and belongings, including microbial growth and progressive deterioration of building materials and the ruin of documents, pictures, books, household goods, furnishings, carpeting, clothing, and more. 

Practical and best restoration industry practices often recommend the pack out of items at risk of further harm from the flooding. We train our SERVPRO employees to inventory, stow, and transport your precious possessions with care and respect. 

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties will complete the flood water removal by matching equipment and techniques to achieve applied structural drying. Our crews strike a balance among the elements of air movement, heat, and dehumidification. We work to release water from structural components into a vapor that we then condense, collect, and evacuate. 

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties has the skilled crews and state of the art equipment to turn around your flood damage problems efficiently. Give us a call at (570)759-0966 as soon as possible after the flood waters invade. We stand ready 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Storm and Flood Damage Restoration Professionals

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 570-759-0966
SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its original pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost and time required to restore your property.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm, hurricane or flooding disaster. We can access resources equipment and personnel from a network of 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Guano

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties was contacted to provide an estimate for cleanup of bat droppings in a residential property's attic space. The property has been for sale for some time. The access to the attic was via a normal stairway, but the attic itself had only a 5 ft height in the center peak, down to a couple inches at the soffit edge. After providing a detailed estimate, including HEPA vacuuming; gross deposit scooping and cleanup; disposal fees; and Personal Protection equipment (suits, respirators, gloves), the customer gave approval to perform the cleanup of heavier concentrations of the droppings. Bat and pigeon droppings are considered hazardous materials, due to the possibility of fungal spores being present in the droppings, called Histoplasma. When these spores become airborne, possibly through agitation (sweeping the area with a broom, for instance), the result could be a lung infection, called Histoplasmosis. The effects are very similar to pneumonia and is treated with antifungal  medications.The crew was able to remove the heavy concentrations with manual means, then used a HEPA vacuum to remove smaller particles and dust.  https://www.medicinenet.com/histoplasmosis_facts/article.htm#histoplasmosis_facts 

Emergency Water Loss

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

On Sunday morning, 04/22/2018, SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co. was contacted by a local Hospital building manager, regarding a water loss on the second floor of their office building in Bloomsburg, PA. SERVPRO responded quickly to be onsite to scope the loss. Originally it was reported the loss was on both first and second floors with close to 30,000 sq ft affected. The SERVPRO owner had contacted a neighboring office to line up support if needed, once the onsite appraisal was performed. Fortunately for the hospital group, the loss was only 2100 sq ft, but took place in a section of cubicles. Two cubicles were directly affected from the overhead water leak, approximately 22 others had water underneath chairs, file cabinets, personal belongings, etc.

Once extraction was completed and file cabinets blocked up, drying equipment was set up to address each cubicle area and aisles between. In two days dry time, all areas were back to normal moisture levels and all equipment was removed.

Mold on Basement Ceiling

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Co  was contacted by a customer in open territory, 75 miles away from our office, and was asked to scope, treat, and complete a mold remediation process on the customer’s basement. The time frame was accelerated due to contractors waiting to start work on building the home atop the basement. The customer had completed the basement several years before and a Quonset type covering had been erected to protect the basement until the post and beam style home could be started. Unfortunately, the structure had water infiltration over the past winter and some rotted flooring and mold in the basement resulted. SERVPRO was able to provide quick service for this particular project, since areas of the floor would be removed/replaced, and the majority of the basement ceiling was stained by former mold growth. Very little active growth was evident on the initial inspection. HEPA vacuuming and treatment of the remaining surfaces were completed in a timely manner and the contractors is able to schedule the project within the following week.

Bonfire Safety..

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire safety is of prime importance if you are considering building a bonfire for your family and friends to gather around on a chilly night. It is imperative that you follow the necessary fire safety tips to prevent fire damage.

Some of those tips include:

Whether you prefer a built-in or portable fire pit, choose one that is not too large for the area. The pit should be a minimum of 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials as well as away from trees, fences, sheds, power lines, and telephone wires.

Make sure that the seating area is large enough and properly placed for comfort and ventilation.

Avoid starting a bonfire if it is windy because a strong breeze could blow sparks onto nearby people or surfaces.

Burn only dry material. Damp material will create excess smoke.

Don’t use lighter fluid or gasoline to get the fire going as it could get out of control. Don't burn tires, aerosols, fireworks, or anything containing paint or foam to avoid toxic fumes which could explode and cause injury.

Use a lighter and crumpled pieces of paper covered with small sticks to start the fire, then add larger sticks and a log or two to keep it burning.

Wear non-flammable clothing and hard-soled shoes when starting, sitting near, or extinguishing the fire.

Never leave the fire unattended, and keep pets and children far away from the fire as they will be attracted to it.

Keep the proper fire extinguishing equipment, or at least a water hose, handy in case there is an emergency. You could also fill a bucket with sand, which can be used instead of water to help extinguish a fire.

As the fire dies down, use a shovel and spread out the ashes to allow them to cool down. Then slowly pour water over those ashes and watch them closely to be sure that no burning embers remain or reignite. Put the cooled ashes in an specially designated ash storage metal can.

We at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties are dedicated to having the fastest 24-Hour Emergency Service response to any fire damage that unexpectedly happens in our area. Immediate action is crucial to limiting the damage, and we have the trained and experienced team and specialized equipment that are necessary for the prompt activities and later for restoring a home or business.

Flash Floods

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

What Causes Flash Floods?

Not all floods are the same. Some develop over time, however flash floods happen quickly, and amazingly can occur without visible signs of rain. Causes of flash floods include:

  • Excessive rain – within minutes of precipitation or up to 6 hours after.
  • Slow-moving rain of a long duration, such as occurs with thunderstorms, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
  • A dam/levee failure.
  • A sudden release of water held by an ice jam.
  • Rainfalls or snowmelts that exceed the capacity of underground drainage pipes and sewage systems.
  • Floods after wildfires which reduce the capacity of the ground to absorb water.
  • Urbanization, such as paving, which reduces rainfall absorption and increases runoff.

What areas are at risk of flood damage?

  • Low-lying areas.
  • Areas near water.
  • Areas behind a levee or downstream from a dam.
  • Areas near canyons.
  • Even dry stream beds, culverts, gullies, creeks, small streams, and low-lying grounds that appear harmless in dry weather can be at risk of floods.

Watch or warning – what’s the big difference?

  • Watch
    Think of a watch as someone yelling at you – “watch out!” Conditions are ripe for a flood, but one hasn’t been spotted… yet.
  • Warning
    All hands on deck! A flood warning from your local weather source means a flood is occurring or is imminent within 30 minutes to an hour.

If a Flood is Likely in Your Area…

All joking aside, a flash flood is serious business. Flash floods are typically accompanied by a dangerous wall of roaring water, which often carries rocks, mud and other debris. If you find yourself facing a flash flood…

  • Evacuate.
    Evacuate immediately to higher ground. Save yourself, not your belongings. You may have very little time to respond.
  • Secure your home.
    If you have time, turn off utilities at main switches/valves and disconnect appliances. Do not touch electrical lines or equipment if you are wet or are standing in water. Move essential items to an upper floor and bringing in outdoor furniture to prevent flood damage.
  • Do not walk through moving water.
    Only six inches can make you fall. If walking through non-moving water, use a stick to gauge depth/firmness before each step.
  • Do not drive through flooded areas. 
    Two feet of water can carry away most vehicles. If swept away in your vehicle, remain inside. If water rises inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.
  • Choose campsites and parking wisely.
    Avoid areas along creeks, streams, or rivers, particularly during threatening conditions.

Flood Damaged?? Contact SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties at 570-759-0966.

Will You Be Ready

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average, researchers say

The Atlantic hurricane season will be slightly above-average this year, Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane researchers predicted Thursday. The researchers cited a "relatively low likelihood of significant El Niño" conditions as a main factor.

In total, the team believes there will be 14 named storms. Hurricane researchers predict seven of the storms will become hurricanes and three will reach "major hurricane strength with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater."

They explained why El Niño patterns are likely to make a difference.

"El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form," the researchers said.

CSU hurricane researchers believe this season's activity will be about 135 percent of the average season. For reference, last year's hurricane activity -- which included one major storm after another -- was nearly two and a half times greater than average.

The team forms their forecasts by using 60 years of data, referencing sea surface temperatures, vertical wind shear levels, sea level pressures, El Niño conditions and other factors. They plan to provide updates on May 31, July 2 and Aug. 2.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

While the CSU team said their predictions provide "a best estimate" of what to expect, they're not foolproof, and coastal residents should be sure and take precautions to protect themselves.

"It takes only one storm near you to make this an active season," said Michael Bell, an associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science, who worked on the report.

2018 Atlantic tropical storm names

Starting in 1953, the National Hurricane Center originally named all tropical storms. While you can still find a list storm names on their website, the names are now maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization.

Each list of names is used in a six-year rotation. That means this year's list will be used again in 2024. However, if a storm is considered too deadly or damage caused by a storm deemed too costly, the name is no longer be used for reasons of sensitivity. In those cases, a name is replaced during an annual World Meteorological Organization meeting.

Here are all the names selected for Atlantic tropical storms for 2018:

  • Alberto
  • Beryl
  • Chris
  • Debby
  • Ernesto
  • Florence
  • Gordon
  • Helene
  • Isaac
  • Joyce
  • Kirk
  • Leslie
  • Michael
  • Nadine
  • Oscar
  • Patty
  • Rafael
  • Sara
  • Tony
  • Valerie
  • William

Commercial Water

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can strike your business at any time. At SERVPRO, we understand the urgency and the delicacy of the situation. Mold growth can lead to serious health issues, as well as damaged property, lawsuits, and even potential structural issues. For a business, municipal building, or similar structure, floodwaters also mean one powerful truth: your building is closed for business until the damage is remediated. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give SERVPRO a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Water Damage Causes

Water damage can be caused by a toilet clogging or overflowing, general plumbing problems, a leaking roof or old pipes. Our experts will assess the issue by tracking down any pockets of excess moisture and remove them accordingly. The high-tech equipment used to locate these pockets include moisture meters and Thermal imaging to measure the moisture in hidden pockets and behind tile and other materials that may not feel wet on the outside. SERVPRO finds these moisture pockets and professionally dries the equipment and area to ensure proper recovery and remove any moisture from drywall or other materials. Through our process we can speed up drying to prevent the growth of any mold or other harmful bacteria by building drying chambers.

Is it essential that water damage restoration is given proper attention in a timely matter? If left unrepaired, it will worsen which will lead to more and more problems.

Water Damage Restoration Process

We will provide care and consideration to your concerns and business needs. The steps we take are as follows:
• Secure the site and assess the water damage
• Begin water extraction procedures immediately
• Remove carpet pads if necessary
• Take steps to prevent the growth of mold and mildew
• Use our state of the art equipment, including industrial-strength blowers and dehumidifiers to completely dry carpet, floors, walls, and ceilings

If a disaster should strike, whether a hurricane, fire or a simple sprinkler head break, SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties is here to help. We’ll guide you each step of the way! We’re at your side through each step of the restoration process. It pays to be prepared!

While You Are Away..

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Save Energy While You’re Away

  • Unplug appliances that consume electricity even when they’re not in use such as DVD players, microwaves, coffeemakers and computers (also make sure to disconnect the computer from the Internet). This is both a cost savings and a safety issue. It’s not unheard of to have a cat tiptoe across a counter and unwittingly turn on the coffeemaker.
  • Turn the water heater down to the “vacation,” “low” or “pilot” setting.
  • During the winter, set your thermostat to 60 degrees F and have a neighbor check on the house regularly for furnace malfunctions.
  • In the summer, set your air conditioner to 85 degrees F so it runs less often but keeps electronics cool and gives the house an occupied appearance. Having no air conditioner humming and no windows open on a sweltering day is a sure signal to a thief that no one is home.
  • If you’ll be gone for an extended period, clean out the fridge (and freezer) completely, shut it off and leave the door propped open.

What to do after water damage is discovered..

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Discovering your home has suffered from water damage from flooding, a busted pipe, roof leak or a sump pump backup is not fun, extremely inconvenient and the water damage will quickly become your worst enemy. It’s important that you act swiftly and promptly after making a water loss discovery to help minimize the damage.

A fast response time is essential. This will help to reduce wicking into porous materials and secondary damage to other contents surrounding the affected damaged area. Additionally, a fast response will help to minimize the potential for mold and mildew growth and can cut costs in the long run.

Aside from notifying your insurance agent of the damage, contact SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties. After you’ve contacted SERVPRO, there are a few things you can do before the restoration professionals arrive to help get the restoration process moving faster. Here are some tips and things to do to help prepare:

  • Watch for slips and falls.
  • Make temporary repairs to protect your home or business from further or other damage.
  • Make sure source of loss is fixed (sump pump, broken water line, hot water heater, etc.)
  • If water came from overhead, make sure to stay away from those areas, as the ceiling could collapse.
  • Remove any artwork from the affected area.
  • Make sure wooden furniture is removed from the affected area or wooden blocks, plastic bags, or aluminum foil is placed under the legs.
  • Make sure that colored rugs are removed from the affected area, so that extra staining does not occur to the carpet
  • Remove fragile pieces from the affected area.
  • If it is the summer, keep the AC unit running as this helps eliminate some of the humidity.
  • Finally, things that are wet can be very heavy so be careful!

Remember that with any water loss situation, your fast reaction time to stopping the source of water loss from continuing and getting the right people for job onsite ASAP is crucial to limiting water damage and even cost.

Spontaneous Combustion Is Real

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

This garage sustained heavy fire damage due to rags being placed in a shop vac...

Popular projects like painting a room or refinishing a wood deck can transform the look of your home. Improper disposal of oily rags used on such projects also can transform the look of your home but in a very, very different way. You can safely clean paintbrushes with mineral spirits or paint thinner, but what about the rags and other materials that do not get cleaned but just get thrown away? How do you safely dispose of them?

If you just throw out the rags or leave them in a pile they may spontaneously ignite. That's not a joke.

Spontaneous Combustion Is Real

Simply put, spontaneous combustion is a fire starting without a match or spark. It's absolutely real and, unfortunately, not so uncommon. According to a 2011 report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), about 1,600 residences per year experience fires due to spontaneous combustion or chemical reaction. And the most common causes of these fires are oily rags.

How Oily Rags Start Fires

Products that contain certain oils dry, or cure, through a chemical reaction called oxidation. This process uses oxygen and creates its own heat. If that heat is contained, such as in a pile of oily rags, it can get hot enough to reach the ignition point of the host material; in this case, cotton or whatever the rag is made of. And that's all it takes. Oxidation occurs with or without light, wind, or external heat sources.

Piles of rags are prone to spontaneous combustion because the piles of fabric trap the heat and the fabric often has a relatively low ignition point (the temperature at which they ignite). By contrast, when you apply an oil stain to a deck or a piece of furniture, heat from the oxidizing oil is immediately dissipated into the air.

 

How to Store and Dispose of Oily Rags

The easiest and safest way to store and dispose of flammable oily rags is to use this method:

  • Place the rags in an empty metal container that has a tight metal lid, such as an old paint can.
  • Fill the container with water until the rags are submerged;
  • Seal the can tightly with its metal lid.
  • Take the container to your local hazardous waste disposal center or arrange a special pickup by your garbage pickup service. Many municipalities also host hazardous waste drop off/pickup days). Never pour oily water down a drain in or around your home.

Another option is to let the rags dry fully before disposing of them. The important thing here is to allow the oil product to cure fully so that the oxidation process is complete and no longer creating heat:

  • Lay out or hang the oily rags in a single layer in an outdoor area that is out of the sun and well-ventilated. Be sure to lay them on a noncombustible surface, such as bare soil or concrete; do not lay them on your recently oiled deck, for example.
  • Let the rags dry fully, for at least 2 days, but possibly longer, depending on the product.
  • Dispose of the dried rags as directed by your garbage pickup service or local hazardous waste disposal center.
   

Causes of Mold: What Mold Needs to Grow

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

We have all had mold in our homes at one time or another. However, the mold most of us experience occurs on a loaf of bread and is not hazardous to our health. There are other types of household mold, and while they may be less common, they are much more dangerous. This article will cover the different types of mold as well as the common causes of mold.

Mold can’t grow just anywhere. There are several factors that must be in place for mold to grow.

  • Mold Spores: Mold spores are everywhere. Most commonly mold spores are brought into the house from an outside source.
  • A Food Source: While bread is a common food source for mold other materials in your home are also. Drywall, cotton, and wood can all be a food source for mold.
  • Darkness: Ultraviolet light kills mold. Therefore, mold only grows in dark places.
  • Warmth: Mold needs warm temperatures to grow. Temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit inhibits mold growth.
  • Moisture: Mold needs moisture to grow.
  • Time: Mold grows rather slowly, so the last requirement for mold is time.

Of these factors, moisture is the most important. Without moisture, there is no opportunity for mold to grow even if all of the other requirements are met.

Causes of Mold: Humidity

Humidity building up is one of the most common causes of mold. This is especially important to remember in South Florida. The average humidity on a summer day in Florida is over 70%. This high humidity can give mold the moisture level that it needs to grow. Your drywall, floors, and studs absorb the excess moisture in the air. You may notice mold growth after several days of high humidity or rain.

Your air conditioner is your first line of defense against excess humidity in your home. While cooling the air, your air conditioner also removes moisture. If you have an older air conditioner or have an issue with excess humidity, you may want to consider installing a dehumidifier. You could also look into upgrading your air conditioning system. A newer air conditioner will be able to pull more moisture from the air in your home.

Causes of Mold: Leaking Pipes

Another one of the common causes of mold in your home is leaking pipes. Pipes are hidden behind walls, and therefore it is difficult to tell if they are leaking. If you notice walls or ceilings that are wet, you are going to want to have a professional check for leaks in your pipes. Don’t wait until it is too late. A small leak can turn into an expensive problem if it is not taken care of quickly.

Causes of Mold: Leaks in Roof

Leaks in your roof is another one of the common causes of mold. Roofs wear down over time. It is a smart idea to have your roof checked every few years. Having a professional determine problem spots before they turn into leaks can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. If you see spots on your ceilings have your roof checked immediately.

Causes of Mold: Poor Ventilation

Not having enough air flowing through your home can cause stagnant air pockets. These pockets of air often contain more moisture. Poor ventilation in bathrooms is on of the most common causes of mold. Moisture and condensation build up while you are taking a shower and absorbs into your walls. If your bathroom vent isn’t sufficient enough, or if you don’t have one at all, you may want to consider installing a new vent. Just having a vent is often enough to make sure that your bathroom isn’t overrun by mold.

Causes of Mold: Flooding

This one seems fairly obvious. Whether your water heater breaks or extreme weather causes your house to flood you should have a professional clean up crew take care of the problem. Leaving behind even a small amount of water can cause future mold growth. The cleanup process may involve removing baseboards, drywall, and carpet. While this all may seem like too much, it isn’t. Leaving moisture behind is a serious health risk to you and your family.

Prepare for Spring Weather

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Are you prepared?

Spring weather can be unpredictable. When severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases, so planning ahead makes sense. Prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.

Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather. Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day. Mark Twain once said, “In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.”

Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightningtornadoes, and flooding. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur. For much of the world, this happens in spring and summer.

Because spring weather is so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—particularly if you live in a region that does not often experience thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flooding. And when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense; prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.

Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions.

Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little if any time to prepare for it.

Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions. You can follow many of the same steps that you would for all extreme weather events. Keep an emergency kit on hand. Some items to include are:

  • A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
  • An emergency evacuation or shelter plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
  • A list of important personal information, including:
    • telephone numbers of neighbors, family, and friends
    • insurance and property information
    • telephone numbers of utility companies
    • medical information
  • According to the American Red Cross a first aid kit may include:
    • non-latex gloves
    • assortment of adhesive bandages
    • antibiotic ointment
    • sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
    • absorbent compress dressings
    • tweezers
    • scissors
    • adhesive cloth tape
    • aspirin packets (81 mg each)
    • first aid instruction booklet
      (NOTE: Customize your first aid kit to meet your individual and family needs.)
  • A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • An emergency kit[1.08 MB] in your car

Prepare your family members for the possibility of severe weather. Tell them where to seek appropriate shelteras soon as they are aware of an approaching storm. Practice your emergency plan for every type of severe weather. Show family members where the emergency supplies are stored, and make sure they know how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity in your home.

Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little if any time to prepare for it. But we do know that when spring arrives, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods are real possibilities. So why not take the surprise factor out of severe weather and prepare yourself, your family, and your home? If thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods do occur, you’ll be ready for them.

It only takes 48 hours

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

It only takes 48 hours for mold spores to begin to spread.

It only takes 48 hours for mold spores to begin to spread.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (570)759-0966

What's Next?

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in your home or business are always hard to handle emotionally and physically.  There are often so many "what if's" that run through your mind, but how do you figure out where to start once the fire is put out and the smoke clears. What is on your list of things to do?  How quickly can you get you home restored to its original state? Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties has been restoring homes and businesses for over 16 years. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care. With the many years of experience, and our certified crews on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all you need to know is SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties will help make the damage “Like it never even happened.”

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today at (570) 759-0966.

Washing Machine Malfunctions

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

A third floor laundry room in a local housing complex, was the location to the start of this loss.

Water can easily seep through the flooring into the ceiling and rooms below. A situation like this needs to be handled as quickly as possible to avoid further damages, but cleaning up a mess this large requires professional knowledge and tools. The washing machine malfunctioned causing water to leak out and run down to the second floor apartment. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties arrived onsite and immediately began water mitigation and prevented the water from migration any further. The property manager was thrilled with our fast response to their loss.

We have emergency ready crews 24/7 365 days a year and can handle the task. 

Emergency Ready Plan and Why Your Business Needs One

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) and why you need one:


  1. SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties will do one for your business for F-R-E-E


  1. It can provide those in your office with the knowledge at their fingertips to get a handle on the disaster.


  1. Your supervisor will have a list of emergency contacts at their fingertips.
  2. Your staff will be prepared on what to do to get your doors reopened faster keeping YOU from losing clients and money.

More than 60% of small businesses in the U.S. do not have formal emergency response plans & do not back-up their data off site.


No Plan Means You Are Less Likely to Recover


  • 80% of companies that do not recover from a disaster within 1 month are likely to go out of business.


  • 75% of companies without a business contingency plan fail within 3 years of a disaster.


  • 70% of small business that experience major data loss go out of business within a year.


  • 43% of companies that experience catastrophic data loss never reopen.


  • 51% of companies with data loss closed within 2 years.


  • 80% of companies that do not recover from a disaster within 1 month are likely to go out of business.


  • 75% of companies without a business contingency plan fail within 3 years of a disaster.


The SERVPRO® Ready Plan is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial. It allows for the creation of an Emergency Ready Profile. Please contact SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties today to setup your FREE Emergency Ready Profile 570-759-0966.

Spring is Here! Are You Ready?

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

The most severe of storms Spring can bring are thunderstorms. When warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can bring lightning, tornadoes and flooding, and if not properly prepared, this can cause extensive damage to your home or business.

Below are 5 ways to prepare your home for storm damage that can cost you hundreds, even thousands, of dollars, if not kept on mind:

  1. Clean your gutters. Clear any debris from your gutters to make sure all the rain water can easily flow off your roof away from your home. When water can't get through your gutters, it pools on your roof and around your house. 
  2. Trim your trees. Some of the worst storm damage is caused by falling trees. A healthy, sturdy tree is unlikely to topple in high winds, but one with dead limbs, or disproportionate growth might. Spring is the perfect time to contact an arborist to evaluate your trees, and if you’ve got large trees on your property, you should have them evaluated yearly. Maintaining them will help you protect both your property and the tree itself.
  3. Back up your sump pump. When heavy rains come, sump pumps can get overloaded. A flooded basement can cause all sorts of damage to your contents, and when water covers wiring or electric appliances, things get dangerous. Make sure your sump pump has a battery backup just in case the electricity goes out. You might also consider installing a second, battery operated pump that will come on if the main one fails.
  4. Gather emergency supplies. American Red Cross recommends keeping a three-day supply of food and water for your family, and a seven-day supply of any medications. You might also add a battery operated radio, and a car adapter for your cell phone.
  5. Grade your yard. If water pools around your home, your foundation is in jeopardy. Ensuring that your yard slopes away from your home will keep rain water from sitting by your foundation and causing damage. Click here for a YouTube tutorial, provided by "This Old House," on how to grade your home. Most lawn companies, however, offer this service.

As we get closer to the rainy season, consider these five steps to keep your home and family safe.

Do you have water problems ? Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for help- 570-759-0966

Laminate Flooring Water Damage

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Can Remediate Water Damage Regardless of the Type of Floor in Your Home

Water damage to laminate flooring is commonly seen and can be caused by such things as a slow leak from plumbing, a flood, spills and improper maintenance. Just about any way you can get water on a laminate floor can result in water damage. The damage can sometimes be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, and other times water damage might be covered under your home owner’s insurance. Most often, however, water damage is not covered at all. Depending upon how severe the damage is, it might be correctable by hiring a professional water damage company such as SERVPRO. It could mean a plank replacement, and other times a bigger portion or even the entire floor may have to be replaced.

Water damage from appliance and plumbing leaks like water heaters, dishwashers, ice makers and washing machines in your home can cause your laminate flooring to buckle. Many times, these leaks are quite slow and go unnoticed. Slow leaks are not easy to identify since they are underneath the laminate where they will penetrate the core material of the laminate. While you might not be able to see the leak, a SERVPRO technician will be able to find excess moisture by using a moisture meter.

Water Damage from Concrete

Moisture can enter through the back of your laminate flooring with the damage from water resulting in cupping. A whole floor can cup from a concrete floor which is too wet. This can happen even when a vapor barrier is used under the laminate floor.

Every concrete floor should be tested for moisture before laminate floor covering is installed. Concrete that is newly poured needs to be allowed to cure for sixty days or more before the laminate is installed. There are several ways to test for moisture. Many should be performed by professionals like our technicians at SERVPRO, such as electronic testing. We will have the right equipment and training to do the job right.

Maintenance of Water Damage and Pet Damage

Improper wet cleaning of laminate flooring and spills can cause water damage in the form of swelling at the joints. Many times, these are puffy areas along the edge of the planks, will often cross between plank edges.

Most commonly, the cause of edge swelling over a big area is wet mopping or using popular floor mops such as the Swiffer Wet Jet. It can take up to a year or two of use before issues related to maintenance begin to show. Some floors might not ever show noticeable damage, while others will have extensive damage. Water damage is not often covered by the manufacturer of the laminate. Damage from pet urine and spills are generally localized and appear as welled areas between planks. This is a condition that is site related and not a problem with the laminate floor.

If you know or fear that you have a water damage problem with your laminate flooring that you need assistance with, please contact SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties any time you need by dialing 570-759-0966. We can test for water damage and assess the extent of the damages so we can get your home back to normal fast.

A Little Hole...

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

It appears both manufacturing as well as design defects are the source of the burst braided metal hoses — and the resulting water damage problems.

For some types of hoses, it’s a failure of the braided steel hose. The mechanism of failure involves localized corrosion of the stainless steel wire braid. Although stainless steel isn’t supposed to corrode, the presence of water treated with chlorine and/or cleaning products with chlorine appear to corrode the metal braid, weakening it. Then, under  normal household water pressure, it bursts.

For other types of metal braided hoses, it’s the plastic coupling nuts at each end of the hose responsible for the failure. Coupling nuts connect the metal braided hoses to the supply lines. Often, they’re made with cheap plastic, and aren’t designed or molded to best engineering practices. So sometimes, the coupling nuts crack under normal water pressure and leak.

For still others types of metal braided hoses, it’s the crimp connecting the rubber hose and the steel braid to the swivel. When you bend and flex these hoses, they fail at the crimp point because the crimp pushes the steel braiding into the rubber tube. And, once the rubber tube is severed, there’s nothing to hold back the water. It pours out between the holes in the metal braid.

Normal household water pressure is between 70 and 80 psi (pounds per inch).
Why is that important?

What it means for you is that a burst braided metal supply hose can inundate your home with 3-5 gallons of water per minute. That’s 180-500 gallons per hour!

So what can you do to protect your home?

1. Turn the water off before you go on vacation!!

2. Consider beating the burst!

If your metal braided hoses are over 5 years old, replace them now.

It’s not hard.
If you can connect a garden hose to a faucet, you can replace your metal braided hoses.
Here’s how:
First, turn off the water at the main.
Next, use a wrench to loosen the old hoses.
Then, attach the new hose and hand-tighten.
Last, give the coupling an extra 1/4 turn with the wrench.

3. Consider installing an automatic water shut off system

The Water Damage Defense website carries all manner of water leak detection and shutoff systems for you to use to protect your home. It won’t prevent the metal braided hoses from bursting, but, it will prevent water damage to the rest of your home should the metal braided hoses burst.

Remember: For any kind of water damage, time is not your friend!

The longer you wait, the more damage it causes, and the more it costs to remediate and repair.

For water damage restoration emergencies from burst braided metal hose – or any other source-

Call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, 570-759-0966

5 Common Causes of Water Damage

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Unlike other parts of the country, rain isn't the main cause of water damage in homes and other buildings. Get to know some of the common causes of water damage so that you can do what you can to prevent it from happening on your property. 

  1. Broken Pipes – A broken pipe can do a lot of damage to your home in just a short amount of time. Before you know it, gallons short amount of time. Before you know of water could be spewing through your home. Pay close attention to any leaks, drips, and signs of deterioration. Have a plumber come out to your house for regular maintenance, and if there ever is a broken pipe, you can always turn the water off before the plumber arrives in order to avoid further damage.
  2. Pinhole Leaks – common if a home has copper plumbing, a pinhole leak is a puncture of a copper pipe due to corrosion. If your home has a copper water system, check your pipes for signs of corrosion often.
  3. Old/Faulty Appliances – If your fridge or washing machines aren’t maintained well, or have gotten too old, they could start to leak and create a significant amount of water damage in your home. It’s especially important to keep an eye on the appliances in your kitchen, as water damage caused by your fridge or dish washer can affect not just your floor, but your cabinets as well. Often times, leaks that go undetected for some time will cause significant water damage behind cabinets, which in turn can lead to mold if the problem goes unnoticed for an extended period.
  4. Roof Leaks – Check your roofs frequently and take care of any maintenance or repairs. That way you won’t have to worry about your home flooding next time a storm hits.
  5. Accidents – Sometimes luck just isn’t on your side and one tiny mistake can lead to a big problem. A clogged toilet or too much soap in the dishwasher or washing machine can have water coming across your bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room. These parts of the home are generally better equipped than the rest of the house to handle a larger spill, but water moves fast and could potentially cause damage to the walls, ceiling, or other rooms in the home. If an accident ever does occur that you think calls for a professional, call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties and we’ll make it "Like it never even happened."

570-759-0966

Mold is all around us...

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is all around us...

Different types of mold are found virtually everywhere in nature and even in your home or business - including on that blue cheese in the fridge!  In fact, air-born mold spores use many different methods to gain entry to your home, including open doors and windows on beautiful spring days.

 The good news is that not all molds are harmful to us, and most can be kept at bay with moisture control indoors.  But a leak or flood that is not properly dried, or even a sudden spring shower that wets a carpet through an open window can support mold growth.  Likewise, undetected moisture in an attic, basement, or ceiling can provide the right conditions for this unwanted guest - including potentially harmful molds that require immediate attention from your friendly, neighborhood SERVPRO technicians.  We at SERVPRO take rigorous precautions and follow stringent processes to effectively remove mold from an affected area and restore your happy, healthy home or business!

The Process:

1. Mold Containment - the affected area is sealed off to prevent the release of spores

2. Air Filtration - the air is cleaned of any air-born spores

3. Removal of Mold & Mold-Affected Materials

4. Cleaning Contents & Belongings

5. HEPA Cleaning Processes - to ensure that mold & spores are safely removed and your home or business is left clean and sealed

If you see mold, call our office at 570-759-0966.

Who Is Most At Risk??

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

"I Have Black Mold..."

Often the calls that we field at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties include some variation of this start to a sentence.  "Black mold" has certainly received the most coverage and thus has impressed itself most strongly in most home and business owners' minds; however, there are many different types of mold that have a black coloration.  In fact, mold comes in many different sizes, shapes, and colors.  The common theme amongst all, however, is that they do not have a place in your home or business and require professional remediation.

For Your Health...

Once mold is identified in a home or business, the first, most important call should be to SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, where highly-trained professional technicians are ready to follow a stringent procedure to not only remediate the visually-present mold, but to do so in a way that will prevent its recurrence and cross-contamination.  

Those who are most at risk - the ones that you love and want to keep safe - are individuals with suppressed immune systems, compromised health situations, chronic inflammatory lung diseases, and severe allergies.  However, there may be adverse effects to even healthy persons and pets.  Those most at risk include:

  • Infants & children
  • Pregnant women
  • The elderly
  • People with compromised respiratory systems or asthma and allergies
  • People with weakened immune systems

Long Story, Short...

If you believe that there may be mold growth in your home or business, based on visual evidence or even just an odor - don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties.  There are many "wrong" ways to deal with mold, but we are trained to handle it the right way - to keep your home or business safe, healthy, and clean for all!

Winter Storm Events

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

SEVERE WEATHER 101

Winter Weather Basics

A winter storm is an event in which the main types of precipitation are snow, sleet or freezing rain.

Why can winter storms be so dangerous?

Most deaths from winter storms are not directly related to the storm itself.

  • People die in traffic accidents on icy roads.
  • People die of heart attacks while shoveling snow.
  • People die of hypothermia from prolonged exposure to cold.

Everyone is potentially at risk during winter storms. The actual threat to you depends on your specific situation. Recent observations show that:

  • Of injuries related to ice and snow:
    • About 70% occur in automobiles.
    • About 25% are people caught out in the storm.
    • Majority are males over 40 years old.
  • Of injuries related to exposure to cold:
    • 50% are people over 60 years old.
    • Over 75% are males.
    • About 20% occur in the home.
https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/winter/

What is Water Loss Mitigation?

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Chances Are...

Chances are, IF you ever experience a water loss and find yourself in need of the services of SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, it will probably be the ONLY time that you need us for such a mitigation.  We have ONE chance to make a positive impact in your life and provide the personal, professional service that we strive for everyday.

So How Do We Do It...?

Once we arrive on-site, one of the first steps in evaluating the damage at your home or business is to understand the situation based on your first-hand account, and walk the affected areas with you to do a visual inspection and note any safety concerns, etc.  Once we gauge the types of materials that are affected, we use the appropriate type of moisture meter to map out the extent of the damage.  We also take some atmospheric measurements that are essential to properly dry the space, including relative humidity and temperature.  All of these data contribute to a strategy that may involve: 

  • extraction of standing water, or water soaked into carpets or other materials
  • demolition of non-salvageable materials, such as carpet, drywall, or baseboard
  • setting up specialized drying equipment such as dehumidifiers and air movers in a specific and strategic way to optimize air flow and to promote drying

When the Dust Settles...

The average dry time for most residential and small commercial water damages is three to five days - but we don't just set our equipment and forget it!  Our skilled technicians return once every 24 hours (working around your busy schedule) to monitor the equipment and to make sure that our drying plan is going accordingly. 

Long Story, Made Short...

We at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties are committed to see your loss through, from the moment we set foot on-site, until the last efforts are made to restore your home or business to a safe, clean, healthy state - "Like it never even happened."

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire...

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

DO NOT disturb contents in your home or business after a fire - improper methods may actually make things worse!

The First 48 Hours...

At SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties, our skilled technicians know well that the first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings in your  home or business.  Soot and smoke can be very dangerous, even toxic, and permeating things.  The longer they have to seep into your home or business and all of its contents, the harder it may be to salvage them - it may not even be possible!

What Can You Do?

The first, and most important thing you can do after experiencing a fire is to call us at SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties - our professional crews are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays, to beat the clock in attempting to salvage your home and property.  But while you wait for us to arrive, you can take these precautions to help mitigate the damage:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.
  • Coat chrome faucets, trim, and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.
  • Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.
  • Do not clean any electrical equipment.
  • Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Commercial Mold

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Businesses are always at risk for mold infestations, especially if they are leasing older buildings that may need repairs. 

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties will work around the customers schedule to remediate the problem, so that the business could be restored as quickly and seamlessly as possible. We know that commercial mold infestations can cost a business thousands of dollars in productivity; it is always our goal to get you back up and running right away. 

If You See Visible Mold 

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Columbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 570-759-0966

Got Mold?

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Believe it or not, mold problems like this can be mitigated with the right expertise and equipment. SERVPRO ofColumbia, Montour & Sullivan Counties has trained technicians that are able to remove the mold growth, and then restore the space to preloss conditions.

The Mold Remediation Process

Every mold infestation is different, from the extent and type of growth, to the variety of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. When you discover mold, call us at570-759-0966 and we will go through our standard mold remediation process:

  • Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Mold Containment
  • Air Filtration
  • Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Restoration

If You See Signs of Mold,Call Us Today –570-759-0966

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